Monday, February 25, 2008


To win any battle you cannot do so by might as your opponent might be wielding a bigger or more dangerous weapon. The only way you can win is by Love and then you realise that there was never an enemy in the first place nor is there ever a battle to be fought.

Mariane Pearl, the widow of murdered Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, said: "I think the Wall Street Journal has one person covering Africa." If celebrities like Angelina Jolie, who wrote the forward to Pearl's book, are drawing attention to issues it's because, as she put it: "Celebrities are doing the work that journalists are not. We can't afford to be cynical about that.'"

That's because too many journalists are busy covering celebrities!

McCain is already ridiculing Obama on "Al Qaeda in Iraq" but Obama put McCain's hollow mockery to rest when he said "Al Qaeda wasn't in Iraq until the U.S. invasion..."

I can see Obama quietly putting McCain's surly, smirking viciousness in its place. When you have truth on your side you don't have to say much.

It was amazing how Obama deflected criticism in the Ohio debate last night. At one point he graciously conceded a point. "Agree with your adversary quickly while you are in the way with him... and no harm will come to you."

Something just dawned on me: Obama supporters are so euphoric, organized and passionate that they WILL NOT ALLOW the election to be stolen or hacked; they will camp out at election sites and double check the Diebold machines. They are the new wave of bloggers that didn't exist during the last election -- the masses who hadn't been awakened. All these people, students, libs, indies have been inspired by Obama's message of hope, unity and change. But mainly PEACE: NO MORE WAR.

I think it would be a travesty if he didn't win. It would kill their dreams. We can't allow the right wing smear machine to get away with anything.

Obama must win. I believe Senator Barack Obama will sweep the country and be unbeatable.

And I don't care what anyone says, I think Senator Hillary Clinton is beautiful and brilliant. I also believe she is a true liberal and would be a great leader.

News Items:
* The future of the US military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay have again been thrown into chaos after the resignation of William Haynes, the architect of the Bush administration's war trials effort.
His departure as the general legal counsel of the Pentagon, a position he has held since 2001, followed a report in The Australian on Monday detailing allegations from a former military prosecutor of his political interference in the David Hicks case and amid other claims in the US media that he wanted to rig trials.

* Conservative intellectual icon William F. Buckley died at age 82

OObama Is NOT Unpatriotic: Lies, Rumors & the Right Wing

Let's get a few things straight. Barack Obama is not a Muslim. He's also not unpatriotic, but conservative pundits and web sites are fueling the allegations, claiming Obama's refusal to wear a flag lapel pin and a photo of him not putting his hand over his heart during the National Anthem mean that he's not a true patriot, reports MSNBC. Why won't these rumors die? (More below... Compiled by the Diversity Inc staff. Date Posted: February 25, 2008...

The Cheating Culture * The Moral Center
Tomorrow, on Tuesday February 26, David Callahan will be the guest on the Basham & Cornell Radio Show, heard weekday mornings at 8 a.m. on 1230 AM KLAV in Las Vegas.

Callahan is an author, commentator, journalist, lecturer, and think-tank founder. He is best known for his 2004 book, “The Cheating Culture,” a nonfiction work on unethical behavior in American society. In a profile in The New York Times, Chris Hedges called Callahan "a new liberal with old values." Since its publication, The Cheating Culture has been reviewed or discussed in numerous newspapers and magazines. The Los Angeles Times called the The Cheating Culture "a breathtaking book," while Esquire proclaimed it a "damning and persuasive critique of America's new economic life." Callahan has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs to discuss The Cheating Culture. He has also lectured widely on the book to business groups and university audiences, frequently as a keynote speaker.

In addition to The Cheating Culture, Callahan is the author of six other books. These include his latest book, “The Moral Center: How Progressives Can Unite America Around Our Shared Values,” which examines how a market-based economy, i.e. capitalism, with its focus on pursuing self interest, undermines the moral fabric of U.S. society.

Callahan argues that powerful market forces have eroded family life, led to a more crass and violent media, fanned a new wave of criminality among the upper classes, and undermined the value of work. The American Prospect has called The Moral Center "fresh and provocative."

Callahan co-founded Demos in 1999. Demos is a nonpartisan, non-profit public policy organization which seeks to create a fairer, more democratic America. Headquartered in New York City, with offices in Boston, Washington, D.C., and Austin, Demos publishes frequent research reports, as well as supporting 15 fellows who write books, articles, and studies. It hosts frequent public events, both in New York and in other cities around the United States. Demos staff and fellows are frequently quoted in the media on topics such as credit card debt, the squeeze on the middle class, voting problems, and the rise of income inequality.

The Basham and Cornell Show broadcasts weekday mornings at 8 am Pacific (11 a.m. Eastern) on KLAV 1230 AM Radio live in Las Vegas. All shows are simulcast on the Internet (and archived) and can be listened to at Basham and Cornell Progressive Talk If you've missed our show, check out the audio archives. We have interviewed John Edwards, John Dean, Valerie Plame, Dahr Jamail, Elizabeth Edwards, Mike Gravel; Pulitzer Prize winner Charlie Savage, Congressman Charlie Rangel, Senator Byron Dorgan; bestselling authors Greg Palast, Paul Krugman, Greg Anrig, Mikey Weinstein, Paul Krugman; Media Matters’ Eric Boehlert and Paul Waldman are regular guests. Upcoming: Obama and Hilary. If you missed any of these shows, check out the archives on our website.
Why won't these rumors die? Those who perpetuate them don't tell you the whole story. Are the individuals behind this "true patriots"? No doubt most of them wear flag lapel pins. And most of them probably put their hands over their hearts during the National Anthem.

Obama has worn a flag lapel pin in the past, but he says he stopped after Sept. 11, 2001, because he thought it had become a substitute for "true patriotism." Remember all the flag bumper stickers and window dressing that popped up on cars and houses in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks? Obama told The Associated Press (AP) in October that true patriotism is talking about national security issues and helping our veterans with policy.

Obama wanted to set an example. "I decided I won't wear that pin on my chest," Obama told AP. "Instead, I'm going to try to tell the American people what I believe will make this country great, and hopefully that will be a testament to my patriotism."

While his campaign qualified this statement by adding, "We all revere the flag, but Senator Obama believes being a patriot is about more than a symbol," the Internet-driven rumors continue to fuel speculation about Obama's "American-ness" in an effort to damage his run for the presidency.

Now they're even bringing Michelle Obama into the smear campaign, playing up her recent comment in Wisconsin, reports MSNBC: "For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country. Not just because Barack is doing well, but I think people are hungry for change." Who really is Michelle Obama?

Who's Behind the Rumors?

A group called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, who waged war on the 2004 presidential campaign of Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., by attacking his Vietnam War record despite the medals he received, is behind many of the Internet rumors now circulating about Obama's patriotism.

The Republican-funded group, now called Swift Vets and POWS for Truth, was founded shortly after Kerry secured the Democratic nomination in 2004; it published a book and a series of television advertisements denigrating his war record, reports SourceWatch. The smear campaign was financed mostly by Sam Fox, a billionaire conservative who was denied a post as U.S. ambassador to Belgium when this information came out during a Senate confirmation hearing. President Bush, however, appointed Fox to the position anyway while the Senate was in recess. Read more about the money and agenda behind this propaganda machine on

Are the individuals behind this outlet "true patriots"? No doubt most of them wear flag lapel pinks. And most of them probably put their hands over their hearts during the National Anthem. So does Karl Rove, according to photos posted all over the Internet.

Now Obama's being "swift-boated," but one of the candidate's military advisers, Ret. Maj. Gen. Scott Gration, says the group is way off base. "People are projecting things and taking things out of context," Gration told MSNBC. "There's absolutely no question in my mind that Michelle and Barack are extremely patriotic, appreciate our freedoms and our values and everything else that the flag represents."

Even Republican frontrunner John McCain isn't going after Obama on this front. His campaign tells MSNBC that it instead will focus on his congressional record and "lack of experience" as points of attack but won't fuel the rumors questioning his patriotism.

Check out some GOOD NEWS stories and more from Good News


  1. I really liked the "Hero Dog Bitten Defending Little Girl" story!

  2. For those of you who saw Real Time with Bill Maher this week you saw one of these lies spread by a US Congressmen of all things.

    I can't remember this clowns name, but if anyone saw it and remembers please post his stupid name. This guy clearly was a SOURCE of much of this far right lying campaign.

    He claimed Obama refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance, which is an out and out lie. He said this right on Real Time, but Bill nor none of his guests corrected him on it.

    Other common lies about Obama are that he insisted on being sworn in on the Koran, which is absurd since he is a Christian, lol.

    This is sleazeball lies by a bunch of frightened sleazeballs.

  3. Mike - I updated the entry; it's about the swiftboating of Obama the past couple of days.

    And our guest tomorrow is David Callahan. He wrote some terrific books: The Cheating Culture and The Moral Center

  4. Lydia, the 'swift boaters' just might go look how well a certain female democratic candidate has made out slinging mud at Obama,

    they just might rethink their strategy,

    because Barack is NO john kerry.

    But being the dumb 27% backwash, they will stumble into this election year just like the neo-cons and their enablers stumbled and bumbled in 2006.

    Hope they do as well this time as they did in 2006;

    Lost 6 senate seats and 31 house seats and the majority of governors mansions.

    (I hope dolty has put his rope away, and tiny doesn't make any more bets ....)

  5. Bartlebee it was, Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) who lied about Barack Obama on Bill Mahar's show.

  6. Hey Clif, i heard the backwash is down to 24%.

  7. Hey Bart and Lyd.......apparently you guys also picked up un the smear and fear crowd trying to portray Obama as some kind of unpatriotic muslim terrorist.............truly pathetic the depth thses desperate losers will go to to seize power.........and Shillery is most certainly included in the loser camp.............i cant wait till that disgraceful witch is fishished so Obama can deal with McCain.

  8. oops i meant the backwash is down to 19%

  9. I'm so sick of these treasonous cowardly losers thinking slapping a bumper sticker on their car or wearing a pin on their lapel somehow makes them fearless can these losers live with setting the bar so low constantly.

    True Patriots would be defending our freedoms and liberties and the Constitution from being torched and would at the very least be fighting for our soldiers getting proper equipment and medical care if they didnt have the courage to suit up for the war they crave and support.

    These phony patriots equate treason, cowardice and greed with patriotism..........they think tax cuts for billionaires is more important than our soldiers getting proper medical care and equipment.

  10. Clif - what did Kingston say on Bill Maher?

  11. On Friday night's Bill Maher show, Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) claimed that Barack Obama refuses to say the pledge of allegiance to the American flag.

  12. Sorry for taking so long to reply, but I am tracking a story about a right wing blogger committing suicide because evil liberals are taking America over again, but the "facts" don't quite add up;

    Here is his blog and the post that started it all;


    One problem is no news story about anybody with that name jumping off a roof anywhere,

    A second his age doesn't match the age of a person who died in Cleveland.

    If he was the Ronald Barbour who threatened to kill Bill Clinton in 1994, he should be over 70, not 47 as the Cleveland obit says.

    This story is spreading thru the right wing blogs like flopping aces, ace of spades, free republic.

    and the most interesting things is this;

    Winston Smith's blog

    which contains the exact post but no attribution to Rondo at all.

    The obit is about this person;

    RONALD BARBOUR Born May 1960

    who lived in Cleveland

    While the blogger appears to be this person;

    RONALD G BARBOUR Born Sep 1948

    who lived in Florida.

    He had to be this old because "rondo" claimed service in Vietnam and ending his military career in 1986, which would means he joined or was drafted in 1966. That also means the 47 year old Cleveland Ronald Barbour couldn't be the blogger, but the right wing blogs can't seem to understand the miss match of facts here.

    This is sort of strange, somebody jumped off a building according to his website and committed suicide in protest and nothing but posts on right wing blogs about it.

    No news story's anywhere on the Internet about it at all, and nothing but one obituary which doesn't match the person who blogged age or place of residence, and a lot of right wing blogs running with an Internet story.

  13. Lydia received a new award from Alicia Morgan. Check it out.

    Last Left Before Hooterville

  14. The wingtard misinformation regarding Barack came home to me last night. One of my sons actually asked me about the Koran thing. a belt was quickly fastened about my head to keep it from exploding.

    As far as that flag lapel pin goes, many of you probably remember what I had to say about it when Barack first took it off. If you don't, I'll remind you.

    Thanks to cowardly, greedy, inhuman criminal scum like Chimpy, Shooter, Electrode Al, Lecondel, and the rest of those useless bums, the flag lapel pin in this country has come to more or less approximate what the Kim Il Sung badge represents in North Korea. It signifies your membership in a cult of personality, not your patriotism. Not by a long shot.

  15. I find it interesting that Franklin Roosevelt didn't have to wear a flag lapel pin in order for the United States to prevail in World War Two.

    (Google Franklin Roosevelt under images and show me his lapel pin, do the stupid reichwingers think he was unpatriotic when he fought WW2?)

    Neither did Abraham Lincoln need a lapel to keep the United States together by winning the Civil War.

    (Google Abraham Lincoln under images and show me his lapel pin, do the stupid reichwingers think he was unpatriotic when he fought The insurrection of the confederacy against the United States?)

    I bet George Washington didn't wear one at Valley Forge either.

    (but they didn't have time to take pictures)

    (Google George Washington under images and show me his lapel pin, do the stupid reichwingers think he was unpatriotic, none of his official portraits have the sacred lapel pin.)

    Only people who HID from actually doing what the veterans of combat have done need a lapel pin to be patriotic. (Or their sacred support the troops yellow ribbon to appease their gutless shame).

    Neo-cons steal everything for their agenda, and now they are trying to steal the meaning of the flag, by making it into required jewelry.

    I don't wear one but I don't need to to be patriotic, I served and respect the flag and don't need to make personal jewelry out of it.

    If I wear TWO lapel pins does that mean I'm twice as patriotic as the stupid neo-cons and their ignorant reichwing enablers?

  16. This is exactly the kind of garbage I would expect from the Reich. They have to do something to keep their sheeple worked up to a mindless frenzy, and that cannot do so with authentic issues, because they lose on those across the board.

    An Edwards man, I have not come out for either Clinton or Obama as yet, but I have to say I'm really upset to see that this right wing propaganda has appeared on several pro-Clinton blogs. We on the left should be above such nonsense base our support in real issues.

  17. Bartlebee - thank you, I didn't realize you posted the Bill Maher comment originally.

  18. TomCat - I agree that smears coming from any side are reprehensible, but on Tom Hartmann today, there was a discussion on misogyny and I would like to point out that the media is especially cruel to Hilary and especially nice to Obama.

    The Equal Rights Amendment has never been passed, and it's still okay to discriminate on the basis of gender. Republicans have held up passage of the ERA for years, never allowing it to pass.

    It's almost too obvious that the right wing HATES women -- never wants them to succeed and puts harsher standards on them (as does the film industry.) Almost every Oscar-nominated film was again a male-driven lead.

    I have also noticed that Obama takes slings at Hilary too and did it surreptitiously this week with that blatantly underhanded flyer his team sent out claiming lies about her. She, in turn, was shocked and blasted back at him spontaneously. The media calls her shrill and picks apart everything, without putting it in context.

    Let's be even here: Obama is adorable, humorous and charming, but very aloof -- and quite rude to Hilary when they are both on stage. He never even looks at her when she's speaking.

    Science has proven that women are able to merge both sides of their brains (emotional and intellectual) much more easily than men. Because they nurture children, bear children, they are much less ready to go to war.

    I am sick of the misogyny I see in the media. And I'm sick of PERSONAL attacks on both sides -- against Hilary and Obama.

    I am also afraid to ever say a kind word about HIlary here on my own blog because some of you guys are extremely one-sided to the pont of having no nuance at all. Let's not become like the right wing. Haters.

  19. On that note, I am leaning toward Obama because he has my values, and is not afraid to speak about faith. I just hope he takes on the media, which is our MAIN PROBLEM. But I'm afraid Obama is not aware that the mainstream media is so corporatized, because he's in the midst of a love fest with them. (The "patriotic" crap and Kenya garb, aside. At least the media is thoroughly coming to his defense here.)

  20. Hey everyone is free to support Hillary..............My own father, all of my aunts and some older co workers who i respect support Hillary..........that said, I dont think any people who are truly informed support Hillary just like the Neo Cons, her base appears to be the uneducated and less informed.

    Additionally I dont think the Media is against Hillary in ANY WAY, Wolf Blitzer and MANY people in the MSM are clearly VERY pro Hillary and blatantly try to run interference for her.

    Many try to make this a gender issue when I dont see it that way at all, Hillary is her own worst enemy, she has tried to run a Karl Rove smear and fear campaign based on lies and THAT is why she has lost me............In good faith I simply cant support one of our own acting and campaigning like the repugs we opposed for so long.

    Hillary has no problem running a dirty smear campaign of lies and seems to hate dealing in facts and honesty..........sure Obama's flyers may not have been 100% accurate but they were most certainly not lies.......Hillary DOES take both sides on issues just like Bill used all fairness Hillary did criticize NAFTA moldly at times but she also supported it and touted it as a positive accomplishment many times as well, so it is riddiculous to call Obamaa liar for saying she supported it, maybe his choice of wording was unfortunate but what he said was fairly accurate.

    Obama has not lied or run a Karl Rove smear and fear based campaign and Hillary has and THAT is why she is drawing fire and losing support.

    I dont even consider race or gender in this election i simply want the best person we can get and after GWB, thats what everyone should want...........It would be great to have an African American President and it would be great to have a woman president provided they are the best person for the job.

    Hillary just doesnt seem very presidential and doesnt seem like she can lead from day one because not only does she have a problem sticking to facts and truth but her judgement is clearly extremely poor as evidenced by her being dead wrong on nearly EVERY important vote and decision she has made from Authorizing GWB to invade Iraq, to designating Iran a terrorist organization, to repeatedly funding GWB's war, to supporting the spying and other unconsitutional assaunts on our freedom and privacy.

  21. Lydia, I fully agree. Women are still the subjects of discrimination in our culture, and most men and women are brought up to accept that as the norm. I have supported an ERA since the 1960s. In the 1970s, all but one of my male sales staff quit in protest, because I promoted a woman to the Sales Manager position. I also agree the the media has done a hatchet job on Clinton. While I disagree with opinions I have heard that women should vote for her, because it's "she's a woman and at last it's our turn", I equally disagree with voting against her because she's a woman. Gender, like race, should not be a factor. Positions on issues and quality of leadership are what matter.

    At this point, I'm almost tempted to add a male chauvinist pig joke like, "don't worry your pretty little head about it", but I'm afraid you might shoot me. ;-)

  22. This comment has been removed by the author.

  23. Mike, Maybe that sounded funny. Maybe I don't know what I'm talking about. I'm just saying I'm trying to analyze why I was so against Hillary and then suddenly felt compassion for her. When I say my gut is never wrong, what I mean is this -- Hillary does not deserve to be demonized.

    That's all I meant. In my gut I know she is not as demonic as some are making her out to be.

    But, that said, IF she is the one engaging in these Obama attacks -- I am horrified.

    Here's what I think: the right-wing corporate media is picking the candidate. They initially picked Hillary because they (Newt, Rove) thought they could smear her and she would never win against a Republican.

    I usually root for the underdog.

    Now I am seeing the media hand pick Obama for the very same reasons.

    That's what I am saying: Obama is being given the star treatment so they can annihlate him.

    But I do believe Obama, more than anyone else, has the progressive spiritual qualities to rise above this and take us higher to another level.

    I'm not sure Hillary is equipped for the mission to take us into the coming enlightenment. Especially if she is fighting at such a dirty level.

  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

  25. Mike -- you said that Hillary "supported the spying and other unconsitutional assaunts on our freedom and privacy."

    I did not know this. Did she vote for the FISA law each time, even after we found out the telecomm companies handed over phone records prior to 911?

    This is not acceptable.

  26. U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 110th Congress - 2nd Session

    as compiled through Senate LIS by the Senate Bill Clerk under the direction of the Secretary of the Senate

    Vote Summary

    Question: On Passage of the Bill (S.2248 as Amended )
    Vote Number: 20 Vote Date: February 12, 2008, 05:30 PM
    Required For Majority: 1/2 Vote Result: Bill Passed
    Measure Number: S. 2248 (FISA Amendments Act of 2007 )
    Measure Title: An original bill to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, to modernize and streamline the provisions of that Act, and for other purposes.
    Vote Counts: YEAs 68
    NAYs 29
    Not Voting 3
    Vote Summary By Senator Name By Vote Position By Home State

    Vote Summary By Senator Name By Vote Position By Home State

    Grouped By Vote Position YEAs ---68
    Alexander (R-TN)
    Allard (R-CO)
    Barrasso (R-WY)
    Baucus (D-MT)
    Bayh (D-IN)
    Bennett (R-UT)
    Bond (R-MO)
    Brownback (R-KS)
    Bunning (R-KY)
    Burr (R-NC)
    Carper (D-DE)
    Casey (D-PA)
    Chambliss (R-GA)
    Coburn (R-OK)
    Cochran (R-MS)
    Coleman (R-MN)
    Collins (R-ME)
    Conrad (D-ND)
    Corker (R-TN)
    Cornyn (R-TX)
    Craig (R-ID)
    Crapo (R-ID)
    DeMint (R-SC)
    Dole (R-NC)
    Domenici (R-NM)
    Ensign (R-NV)
    Enzi (R-WY)
    Grassley (R-IA)
    Gregg (R-NH)
    Hagel (R-NE)
    Hatch (R-UT)
    Hutchison (R-TX)
    Inhofe (R-OK)
    Inouye (D-HI)
    Isakson (R-GA)
    Johnson (D-SD)
    Kohl (D-WI)
    Kyl (R-AZ)
    Landrieu (D-LA)
    Lieberman (ID-CT)
    Lincoln (D-AR)
    Lugar (R-IN)
    Martinez (R-FL)
    McCain (R-AZ)
    McCaskill (D-MO)
    McConnell (R-KY)
    Mikulski (D-MD)
    Murkowski (R-AK)
    Nelson (D-FL)
    Nelson (D-NE)
    Pryor (D-AR)
    Roberts (R-KS)
    Rockefeller (D-WV)
    Salazar (D-CO)
    Sessions (R-AL)
    Shelby (R-AL)
    Smith (R-OR)
    Snowe (R-ME)
    Specter (R-PA)
    Stevens (R-AK)
    Sununu (R-NH)
    Thune (R-SD)
    Vitter (R-LA)
    Voinovich (R-OH)
    Warner (R-VA)
    Webb (D-VA)
    Whitehouse (D-RI)
    Wicker (R-MS)

    NAYs ---29
    Akaka (D-HI)
    Biden (D-DE)
    Bingaman (D-NM)
    Boxer (D-CA)
    Brown (D-OH)
    Byrd (D-WV)
    Cantwell (D-WA)
    Cardin (D-MD)
    Dodd (D-CT)
    Dorgan (D-ND)
    Durbin (D-IL)
    Feingold (D-WI)
    Feinstein (D-CA)
    Harkin (D-IA)
    Kennedy (D-MA)
    Kerry (D-MA)
    Klobuchar (D-MN)
    Lautenberg (D-NJ)
    Leahy (D-VT)
    Levin (D-MI)
    Menendez (D-NJ)
    Murray (D-WA)
    Reed (D-RI)
    Reid (D-NV)
    Sanders (I-VT)
    Schumer (D-NY)
    Stabenow (D-MI)
    Tester (D-MT)
    Wyden (D-OR)

    Not Voting - 3
    Clinton (D-NY)
    Graham (R-SC)
    Obama (D-IL)

    Obama and Clinton both MISSED THIS IMPORTANT VOTE.

    Neocon McCain VOTED TO PASS FISA.

  27. Mike -- you wrote " all fairness Hillary did criticize NAFTA moldly at times but she also supported it and touted it as a positive accomplishment many times as well..."

    I like the way you used the word "moldly" instead of "boldly!" LOL

    No, but seriously, I agree with you -- I'm just saying there are times I can't help but feel compassion for Hilary and all she's been through in a man's world and with the whole right wing against her -- and yes, she made some idiotic decisions on some votes which absolutely infuriated me -- but then I look carefully at how the system works, and I can't help but feel for her. She may not be spiritually evolved enough to always abide by her internal principles, and she may think you have to "play the game" to get into office by appearing macho -- and that is where I think she is totally wrong -- but never for a moment do I doubt she would be a terrifically liberal president. That's my gut feeling. She tried to appear tough on terror and vote the wrong way which is unconscionable, stupid and IDIOTIC -- but we don't have the luxury of an insider's view of Washington machinations.

    I just know my gut and I don't feel Hillary is the evil demon some are making her out to be. Also, I was blown away at her amazing speaking ability. She really knows her stuff, and her health plan, according to the New York Times is amazing. Very thorough, covers everyone.

    I love Obama, feel he is truly evolved. His message is the one we all respond to and the main subject of this blog: unity, hope, seeing the good in your fellow man. So I'd like to see him carry that out all the way, even with Hillary. I would like him to "turn the other cheek" completely and show us how he can do the same thing to the right wing. If we want a peacemaker as a president -- a pacifist -- which I do, then we need to see him be consistent in this. Then he cannot fail across the globe. His truth will resonate with every good American, no matter what party.

    Obama is my first choice for these reasons and also because he can beat McCain.

  28. The voting records of Hill and Barack simply are not that far apart, not enough to get into any arguments about.

    I preferred neither. I now lean towards Barack primarily based on Hill's refusal to admit she made a big mistake back in 2003. We've had quite enough of those who are never wrong.

  29. LydiaCornell said...
    On that note, I am leaning toward Obama because he has my values, and is not afraid to speak about faith. I just hope he takes on the media, which is our MAIN PROBLEM. But I'm afraid Obama is not aware that the mainstream media is so corporatized, because he's in the midst of a love fest with them. (The "patriotic" crap and Kenya garb, aside. At least the media is thoroughly coming to his defense here.)"

    Wow, what interesting discussion tonight try to bear with me here because i will need a long response to address these deep and complex issues.............i agree the MSM is a huge problem and does need to be addressed but i think so far they have been MUCH more fair in this campaign than i expected...........i AM confused though, didnt you allready vote in the primaries?

  30. One thing is apparent,

    No matter how much he flip-flops on the campaign trail;

    No matter how much war he wishes for;

    John McCain doesn't support the troops in HIS votes;

    McCain's Voting Record - How He REALLY Supports the Troops

    by clammyc

    Since everyone is at least a bit familiar with John McCain’s record when it comes to strolling through a market in Baghdad with hundreds of his closest guards, or how he wants to stay in Iraq for 100 years (except when he flip flops on that).

    But not that many
    really, truly know just how horrific his voting record is when it comes to the troops. And it is pretty consistent – whether it is for armor and equipment, for veteran’s health care, for adequate troop rest or anything that actually, you know, supports our troops.

    This is chock full of links to the roll call votes, and the roll call votes have links to the actual underlying bills and amendments. I present this so that there is support and things that can be rattled off when saying that
    McCain is not a friend of the military. Feel free to use it as you want, but this can be tied into the “Double Talk Express”. But here is a very quick statement - John McCain skipped close to a dozen votes on Iraq, and on at least another 10 occasions, he voted against arming and equipping the troops, providing adequate rest for the troops between deployments and for health care or other benefits for veterans.

    In mid 2007, Senator Reid noted that McCain missed 10 of the past 14 votes on Iraq. However, here is a summary of a dozen votes (two that he missed and ten that he voted against) with respect to Iraq, funding for veterans or for troops, including equipment and armor. I have also included other snippets related to the time period when the vote occurred.

    September 2007: McCain voted against the Webb amendment calling for adequate troop rest between deployments. At the time, nearly 65% of people polled in a CNN poll indicted that “things are going either moderately badly or very badly in Iraq.

    July 2007: McCain voted against a plan to drawdown troop levels in Iraq. At the time, an ABC poll found that 63% thought the invasion was not worth it, and a CBS News poll found that 72% of respondents wanted troops out within 2 years.

    March 2007: McCain was too busy to vote on a bill that would require the start of a drawdown in troop levels within 120 days with a goal of withdrawing nearly all combat troops within one year. Around this time, an NBC News poll found that 55% of respondents indicated that the US goal of achieving victory in Iraq is not possible. This number has not moved significantly since then.

    February 2007: For such a strong supporter of the escalation, McCain didn’t even bother to show up and vote against a resolution condemning it. However, at the time a CNN poll found that only 16% of respondents wanted to send more troops to Iraq (that number has since declined to around 10%), while 60% said that some or all should be withdrawn. This number has since gone up to around 70%.

    June 2006: McCain voted against a resolution that Bush start withdrawing troops but with no timeline to do so.

    May 2006: McCain voted against an amendment that would provide $20 million to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for health care facilities.

    April 2006: McCain was one of only 13 Senators to vote against $430,000,000 for the Department of Veteran Affairs for Medical Services for outpatient care and treatment for veterans.

    March 2006: McCain voted against increasing Veterans medical services funding by $1.5 billion in FY 2007 to be paid for by closing corporate tax loopholes.

    March 2004: McCain once again voted for abusive tax loopholes over veterans when he voted against creating a reserve fund to allow for an increase in Veterans' medical care by $1.8 billion by eliminating abusive tax loopholes. Jeez, McCain really loves those tax loopholes for corporations, since he voted for them over our veterans' needs.

    October 2003: McCain voted to table an amendment by Senator Dodd that called for an additional $322,000,000 for safety equipment for United States forces in Iraq and to reduce the amount provided for reconstruction in Iraq by $322,000,000.

    April 2003: McCain urged other Senate members to table a vote (which never passed) to provide more than $1 billion for National Guard and Reserve equipment in Iraq related to a shortage of helmets, tents, bullet-proof inserts, and tactical vests.

    August 2001: McCain voted against increasing the amount available for medical care for veterans by $650,000,000. To his credit, he also voted against the 2001 Bush tax cuts, which he now supports making permanent, despite the dire financial condition this country is in, and despite the fact that he indicated in 2001 that these tax cuts unfairly benefited the very wealthy at the expense of the middle class.

    So there it is. John McCain is yet another republican former military veteran who likes to talk a big game when it comes to having the support of the military. Yet, time and time again, he has gone out of his way to vote against the needs of those who are serving in our military. If he can’t even see his way to actually doing what the troops want, or what the veterans need, and he doesn’t have the support of veterans, then how can he be a credible commander in chief?

    So I guess John McCain doesn't really support the troops really, just sending them to war time after time without needed equipment, or good medical care when they come home.

    But it is clear John McCain supports MORE war, just not the troops who fight it......

  31. Hey guys did you know turkey invaded norther Iraq and are attacking Kurds there.

    I wonder why the corporate owned MSM ignores this side show to George W Bush's illegal invasion of Iraq?

    Might it be because this shows the surge is a failure in the effort to stabilize Iraq, because a stable Iraq doesn't have it's neighbors attacking it, as part of the ongoing war on terra of Bush ET AL?

    Might it be because this is enlarging the war the corporate owned MM wants to ignore while their favorite horse race is happening? (the horse race that they make millions in profits off of?)

    I guess television a horse race in politics is more profitable then televising a war.

  32. LydiaCornell said...
    Mike, Maybe that sounded funny. Maybe I don't know what I'm talking about. I'm just saying I'm trying to analyze why I was so against Hillary and then suddenly felt compassion for her. When I say my gut is never wrong, what I mean is this -- Hillary does not deserve to be demonized.

    That's all I meant. In my gut I know she is not as demonic as some are making her out to be.

    But, that said, IF she is the one engaging in these Obama attacks -- I am horrified.

    Here's what I think: the right-wing corporate media is picking the candidate. They initially picked Hillary because they (Newt, Rove) thought they could smear her and she would never win against a Republican.

    I usually root for the underdog.

    Now I am seeing the media hand pick Obama for the very same reasons.

    That's what I am saying: Obama is being given the star treatment so they can annihlate him.

    But I do believe Obama, more than anyone else, has the progressive spiritual qualities to rise above this and take us higher to another level.

    I'm not sure Hillary is equipped for the mission to take us into the coming enlightenment. Especially if she is fighting at such a dirty level."

    Lydia Hillary is not the devil incarnate, if i gave you that impression it is not intended, although i am STRONGLY Against Hillary and after her dispicable behavior will not support her, i actually think she would not be that bad of a president, much better than McCain, i think economically she would be decent, and her health care plan is about as good as OBAMA's.......actually i dont really care for eithers health care plans that much i think we should go to a plan like Canada's were the government pays for ALL healthcare for EVERYONE and it is not the responsibility of citizens or their employers.

    That said I think Hillary is much more divisive than Obama and would not get anywhere near as much accomplished because she would polarize the country to oppose her............look what she has done with progressives in her own party, a month or two ago myself and MANY others said they WOULD support her if she got the nomination but she has crossed a line recently and is losing progressives with her filthy slimy gutter tactics. Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan while not perfect, got stuff done because they were moderates with charisma that didnt polarize and inspire hatred and opposition.

    myself and MANY others have railed on volt and FF and repugs in general for blindly supporting their party right or wrong, Rove, Bush and Cheney have hippocritically lied, smeared, fearmongered etc.........and we have stated how we hated that slimy smear and fear can we CLAIM we are any better if we accept and legitimize those same Rovian tactics by our own party?:

    Repeatedly the trolls have implied we blindly defend democrats like they blindly defend repugs and with one exception they have been dead wrong........i liked Bill Clinton in many ways i still do, i think he is one of the best presidents of the last 60 years.........but i did blindly defend him against volt and some of the others and i see now that in some instances i might have been wrong doing that and owe him an apology. It appears some element of the corporatist alliance between the government, media, and military industrial complex has infected the democratic party although to a much smaller extent and it embraces the same fascist scorched earth lie, cheat, use fear, prejudice or rascism to seize power at any cost philosophy the repugs have. Wrong is wrong no matter which party commits the act, its the action itself that is wrong not who commits the action. If we support and legitimize these people their kind will grow and spread like a cancer and we are no better than the repug enablers we railed on for the last 6 years.

    What Hillary did by releasing that picture of Obama is beyond slimy, it crossed a line and is starting to do serious damage to the democratic party and progressive cause there are many who say they wont vote for Hillary NOW even if she gets the you see how Hillary is polarizing and dividing her own party..........when i first came to this blog one of the first things i said was how i thought we are all human beings and should just follow the Golden rule and show kindness to each other, i then went on to say that far more evil and harm comes out of organized religion, politics, patriotism, nationalism, ethnocentrism etc......than good. all of those things divide us and allow us to feel superiors or opposed to those not like us. i was turned of to organized religion at about the age of 8 due to this, same with politics while i do support progressive goals i am an independent and really cant see myself registering as a democrat, the rabid twisting of patriotism and nationalism, i have seen the last 6 years has made me sick to my when i see Hillary try to divide the electorate among women and men and hispanics it makes me sick to here people saying they support her just because she is a woman or because she is white.................maybe i'm in the minority here but it doesnt even enter into the calculation what the candidates gender or race is and it shouldnt, aftyer the last election we should be happy with a smart president and the best qualified one, and that is OBAMA........did you watch him during the last debate he talked to the entire nation in a presidential and unifying way, while she narrowly addressed just Texas and Ohio in a very calculated an insincere way like she was just trying to pander to them to get the votes she needed to get elected.

    You said Hillary was playing for the general election and thats why she voted like she did and i agree with you however CLEARLY she was dead wrong on what she needed to do to get elected and this CLEARLY shows she has terrible judgement and is not ready to take over on day one........Hillary did what the repugs do, she accused Obama of being what she is, when she compared him to Bush and Rove and said he lacked the WISDOM and experience to be president when she lacked the wisdom and judgenment to get any of those votes right when Obama did.

    I know you belive in very similar things to what i just outlined, you've said hundreds of times that what you fight grows stronger and to talk to your enemies and that seems to be Obama's message and the opposite of Hillaries which inspires hate and divisivness.

  33. Lydia said "Here's what I think: the right-wing corporate media is picking the candidate. They initially picked Hillary because they (Newt, Rove) thought they could smear her and she would never win against a Republican.

    I usually root for the underdog.

    Now I am seeing the media hand pick Obama for the very same reasons.

    That's what I am saying: Obama is being given the star treatment so they can annihlate him.

    But I do believe Obama, more than anyone else, has the progressive spiritual qualities to rise above this and take us higher to another level.

    I'm not sure Hillary is equipped for the mission to take us into the coming enlightenment. Especially if she is fighting at such a dirty level."

    Lydia you KNOW i have been railing on the media for 2 years now saying they need to be broken up and are a huge problem........that said i actually think the media has been pretty fair to Clinton, Obama and Edwards.............My take is that the powers that be had given up on the repugs and were actually trying to get Hillary elected and a funny thing called the will of the people got in the way of that and propelled Obama to the i kinda think there is great confusion in the Powers that be and they are working to hedge their bets, but i think they have been fairly neutral and are letting things play out.

    I definately think the MSM worked frantically to marginalize Edwards, Kucinich and Ron Paul..........but i dont think they played much of a role with Clinton, McCain and Obama.

    I really dont think the MSM is pushing Obama or trashing Clinton...........I seriously think the Clinton's are their OWN worst enemies and have trashed their own campaign with their disgraceful gutter politics, fearmongering and hateful venom. Hillary was NEVER my favorite candidate but I was so hopeful at the thought that the worst we could do was a Hillary Presidency which would be a breasth of fresh air after Rove and Bush and her rovian tactics destroyed that hope and enthusiasm.

    your right..........Hillary certainly doesnt look presidential she shrieks, lies and smears like a pompous spoiled teenage brat not a calm level headed adult with the temperment, judgement and cool level head to be president.

  34. Lydia said "I am also afraid to ever say a kind word about HIlary here on my own blog because some of you guys are extremely one-sided to the pont of having no nuance at all. Let's not become like the right wing. Haters."

    I think this comment is directed primarilly at me........I said Hillary crossed a line the other day, and apparantly I did as well if people, particularly the blog owner feel they cant even state their opinion on their own blog......I thought pointing out that which i opposed in the repug party in the democratic party was different than the right wing haters and i thought it was being open minded since i accused them of blindly loyal closed minded support.

    But regardless I apologize, If i truly made anyone feel that they cant speak their mind freely then I feel terrible..........and once again this isnt a gender issue........I work in a government organization and while there are many women that have moved up to high level positions in the city gov, i see many contractors talk in a demeaning and intimidating way to women and it gets me angry anmd it dont stand for it i am not against women in any way just because i think Hillary is all wrong for our country.

    That said I apologize again, i couldnt live with myself and would feel like an insincere hippocrite if i supported Hillary after she embraces that which i have so vehemently opposed for the last 6 i'll try and vent elsewhere till the primary is wrapped up.

  35. LydiaCornell said...
    Mike -- you wrote " all fairness Hillary did criticize NAFTA moldly at times but she also supported it and touted it as a positive accomplishment many times as well..."

    I like the way you used the word "moldly" instead of "boldly!" LOL"

    LOL............that was actually supposed to be mildly not moldy...........musta been a Freudian slip since Hillary's spoiling her OWN chances and her campaign IS getting moldy LOL!

  36. Lydia said "That's all I meant. In my gut I know she is not as demonic as some are making her out to be. "

    I respect your gut instinct, I know you are a very intuitive person and I can see by your later comments that you see the big picture.

    Its not that Hillary is that bad, she's not in many ways but her judgement is poor and she doesnt have the charisma to get the good things on her agenda done............In actuality Bill Clinton is much more like Obama than Hillary they both have charisma and can unify the country enough to get things done rather than fight.

  37. Jolly Roger said...
    The voting records of Hill and Barack simply are not that far apart, not enough to get into any arguments about.

    I preferred neither. I now lean towards Barack primarily based on Hill's refusal to admit she made a big mistake back in 2003. We've had quite enough of those who are never wrong."

    My sentiments exactly JR!!

  38. Clif, I think McCain will be fairly easy for Obama to dismantle.

  39. Mike realize the MSM will try to do to Obama what they did to Al Gore, and to a lesser extent Kerry.

    They are by their nature pro corporate and side with the rich since most of the faces we see on TV are part of the 5% upper wealthy, no wheres near the middle class, even before bush began to shrink the middle class living standards.

    The press and politicians hob nob together, and most of the time we are left out, and the MSM corporate chiefs make sure their picks get the lions share of good coverage and the candidates they "dislike" don't.

    I expect the press to suddenly discover problems with Obama just like they did gore and Kerry after the convention, but this time I expect Obama to respond and place the talking heads and editors slightly on the defense, unlike either gore or Kerry.

    I'm not sure the hollow suits of the MSM have seen something like Obama unless they were working in the 60's and covered Dr King or Bobby Kennedy. Since that time the press has tilted rightward in the way they cover and question candidates.

    I'm not sure the press will be able to frame Obama like they did Gore and to a lesser extent Kerry, and McCain has quite a few skeletons in his closet, which Bush's minions in the press exposed a little in 2000. All any pro-Obama handler needs to do is research those 2000 republican primary battles and McCain's problems will multiply. His philandering is certainly at least as bad as Newt's, and his Romney style stances about lobbying; saying one thing as he does the opposite, also looms large against him. Check out Pete Domenci's questions of how McCain handled the Keating 5 scandal, the many questions about his explosive temper, and the fact he has a lobbyist (Charlie Black) both running parts of his campaign while lobbying from McCain's campaign for his clients. Mccain has 59 lobbyists bundling money for his campaign more then both Barack Obama (9) and Hillary Clinton (19) combined which is why he wants to flip flop on his taking federal campaign money.

  40. Good Points Mike,

    And wow, I hope you're right Clif -- maybe the MSM will be unable to cope with someone so different, so gracious and so able to rise above and deflect criticism (as he did valiantly tonight in the Ohio debate.)

    Obama has a cool calm about him which is wonderful and will blow their minds. This is the "turn the other cheek" behavior I love.

    Mike, I believe Obama is correct when he took Hillary at her word -- that she DID NOT know anything about who put that Kenya picture out there. But Drudge did this, and loves to start fights. Let's be fair: she had nothing to do with this. Why on earth would she? Wearing the costume of a foreign nation is something Hillary has done many times as the wife of a President. Nothing could be more racist or childish, it's a right-wing trick and way beneath Hillary. At least grant her that one. It's unkind to blame someone based on a Drudge accusation. It's un American to blame someone based on rumors: innocent until proven guilty.

  41. Hillary finally admitted she would do that Iraq war vote over.

    Too little, too late. Should have admitted this 20 debates ago.

  42. Lydia said "Mike, I believe Obama is correct when he took Hillary at her word"

    Tactically it was the right thing to do.........believe me i'm no fan of Drudge and you could be right.............But the Reich Wingers would MUCH rather run against Hillary than Obama so if they did this i dont know why they would let Hillary take the fall and suffer any possible repercusions and damage if the intent was to help her win the nom.

  43. I wish I could have seen the debate..............I cant believe Hillary would finally admit that after saying she never made a mistake 20 times

  44. Right you are Lydia, right you are. It's way too late for that. I hated it when Kerry refused to admit it, and I don't like it a bit better when it's Hill who refused all this time.

    Back to our original gripe here..... if you've never seen the Arirang Games in Pyongyang, go to YouTube and watch a few clips. Then let your mind go back to the 2004 Gopper Convention. I swear to Dog, the only thing the Arirang had that the Goppers didn't have were the thousands of kids turning their posters simultaneously to produce pictures of the moronic monkey.

    The flag lapel pin=Kim Il Sung badge. If people are offended by me saying that, that is just too damned bad.

  45. Clif, so your thinking Obama has too much momentum to be derailed as well?

  46. No JR I see the same thing you see and its pathetic and riddiculous.

  47. Something just dawned on me: Obama supporters are so fervent, organized and passionate that they WILL NOT ALLOW the election to be stolen - they will camp out at election sites and double check the machines. They are the new wave of bloggers that didn't exist during the last election -- the masses who hadn't been awakened.

    All these people, students, libs, indies have been inspired by Obama's message of hope, unity and change. But mainly PEACE -- no more war.

    I think it would be a travesty if he didn't win. It would kill their dreams.

    We can't allow the right wing smear machine to get away with anything.

    Obama must win.

  48. LydiaCornell said...
    Something just dawned on me: Obama supporters are so fervent, organized and passionate that they WILL NOT ALLOW the election to be stolen - they will camp out at election sites and double check the machines. They are the new wave of bloggers that didn't exist during the last election -- the masses who hadn't been awakened.

    All these people, students, libs, indies have been inspired by Obama's message of hope, unity and change. But mainly PEACE -- no more war.

    I think it would be a travesty if he didn't win. It would kill their dreams.

    We can't allow the right wing smear machine to get away with anything.

    Obama must win."

    Thats it in a nutshell!

    Once Obama wins the nomination the feeling of hope and euphoria will be enormous!

  49. With Ted Strickland and Jennifer Brunner in charge in Ohio, Barack's chances are exponentially enhanced. This is one election Blackwell won't be able to rig.

  50. Actually Lydia I see it a little differently,

    In the debates when Tim Russert tried to smear Obama with Louis Farakan, Obama upstaged Russert taking the question away and giving his framing before Russert could frame the discussion.

    Whether it is instinctive or he learned, Obama knows he has to frame the debate and his image BEFORE others get the chance.

    Obama doesn't let other make his image if he is around, and Russert learned this in the debates tonight.

    McCain can't do it either, because he can't speak fast enough or have the voice to dominate Obama. The right wing smear machine will only be able to convince the kool-aid addicts now with all the time Obama gets on TV now.

    Yes Obama has supporters, BUT unlike 2000 or 2004, the MSM has to deal with somebody who OUTSHINES the talking heads on stage.

    He is smarter then most of them, and can speak more eloquently then they do even though talking is their craft, and they have never really dealt with that before.

  51. The following quote from John McCain should decide for each of us who the next President should be:

    Jan 28,2008

    Presidential candidate John McCain shocked observers on Sunday when he told a crowd of supporters, "There's going to be other wars. ... I'm sorry to tell you, there's going to be other wars. We will never surrender but there will be other wars."

    Lydia is right. Instead of trashing Hillary or Obama, we need to focus on the REAL ENEMY. The one who promises more wars.

    Hillary would be a thousand times better than McCain.

    Obama would be a thousand times better than McCain.

    Which is more important:

    Keeping Hillary or Obama from the White House or keeping John (More Wars) McCain from the presidency?


  52. McCain is very scary.

  53. We need to focus on who can beat McCain.

  54. Larry - I agree, but it's okay to pick the best candidate now and bicker over which is better.

    I think my theory is correct -- that Obama has such incredible support it would be a tragedy if he didn't win.

    Can you imagine all those people losing hope and being disillusioned if he doesn't become the nominee?

    I also think there will be more people "consciously" aware of electronic voting fraud.

    Apparently, if you read Larisa, Rove has already started strong=arming people.

    The Don Siegleman case. It is chilling.

  55. OKAY - OBAMA definitely won the debate, and it was amazing how he deflected criticism. I can see him quietly putting McCain's surly, smirking viciousness in its place.

    Mike, I also admit I was probably wrong: Hillary's team most likely DID put out that Kenya photo.


  56. Please read the updates at the top of the blog. Thanks!!

    Thanks to everyone for your valuable insights and contributions to this blog.

  57. On Feb. 27, 1991, President George H.W. Bush declared that "Kuwait is liberated, Iraq's army is defeated," and announced that the allies would suspend combat operations at midnight.

    Seventeen years ago Bush Sr was smart enough to accept the limitations on what we could do in the middle east.

    His declaration was the truth of the facts on the ground which unlike his stupid son's ignoramus declaration "mission accomplished", which we all know now it was NOT.

    Too bad Dick Cheney who as Bush41's Sec of Def defended NOT going into Iraq in 1991, was a co-conspirator in the war crimes of Bush43, .... Cheney should stand next to Bush in the docket in the Hague during their war crimes trials.

  58. lydia said "I can see Obama quietly putting McCain's surly, smirking viciousness in its place. When you have truth on your side you don't have to say much."

    Truth and facts are a powerful force against lies, smears and fearmongering.............we've seen that proven time after time on this blog.

  59. Clif, have you seen the "7.4& inflation rate..........if these fools and shills are saying 7.4% the REAL inflation rate has to be at least double things are as bad as thet were in 1981 when inflation hit 14%.

    My electric bill has tripled from last February gas and good is up roughly 40% to 70% from a year ago and these fools are still trying to babble that inflation is contained and the economy is robust its pathetic.

    Did you hear Bernanke's speech today, it souded far from positive, in fact it sounded grim like he expects a recession and was covering his ass by outlining the dangers to the economy.

  60. John Lewis has endorsed Barack Obama, he was one of Hillary's super delegates but NO MORE.

    Byron Dorgan a senator from North Dakota has also endorsed Barack and as a senator is also a super delegate.

    That's Barack +2 Hillary -1

    MNBC poll with 100,000 votes over 70% thought Barack won last nights debate.

    Hillary's campaign thanks to the less then intelligent Penn game plan, and Bill's focus too much on him and his need to still be in the spotlight; is near it's end, and after next Tuesday's primaries she should seriously think of getting out UNLESS she can convincing win both Texas and Ohio, which she probably can not.

  61. Mike I listened to Bernanke, and I wonder why he just doesn't tell congress to reread his last appearance, because he keeps singing the same old fed song, but it ain't working.

    Once he gets to 2% Fed rate what does he do then?

    Because with a 50 basis point cut in march he is only one half percent from two percent.

    Does he try what the Japanese did with o% rates for a decade until they could unwind their economic woes?

    Or does he try to become another Greenspan and look for bubbles to inflate for a few years to make the economy seem good while bilking millions of people out of their savings and investments as each bubble bursts?

    Does he continue to undermine the middle class to protect Wall Street?

    Does he allow Wall Street to find a new group of investors to set up with their fraudulent games and wreck the US economy even more?

    Probably since the Fed works for those frauds on Wall Street, and has allowed TWO bubbles to burst while they played enabler in both situations.

  62. When crusty the clown, dolty boy, freedom fan and tiny were all touting the great economy in 2006 what they really were doing was touting the fraud of the banks on wall street in bilking hundreds of millions of people around this planet out of their hard earned savings, investments and futures.

    If you notice they ain't around to defend this economy and the truths that came out about Bush or the economy either.

    They are probably wondering WTF happened, and why the RNC doesn't have talking points for this.

    Maybe they are even wondering if they meet the standards for the bailout.

  63. Clif said "Does he continue to undermine the middle class to protect Wall Street?"

    In my opinion thats EXACTLY what Helicopter Ben will do!

  64. clif said...
    When crusty the clown, dolty boy, freedom fan and tiny were all touting the great economy in 2006 what they really were doing was touting the fraud of the banks on wall street in bilking hundreds of millions of people around this planet out of their hard earned savings, investments and futures.

    If you notice they ain't around to defend this economy and the truths that came out about Bush or the economy either.

    They are probably wondering WTF happened, and why the RNC doesn't have talking points for this.

    Maybe they are even wondering if they meet the standards for the bailout."

    Wanna see just how far those clowns have fallen Clif.......go to dolty's blog, Volt is rooting for Hillary Clinton, and Fascist Fan is pulling for Obama!........................BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

  65. Lydia said "News Items:
    * The future of the US military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay have again been thrown into chaos after the resignation of William Haynes, the architect of the Bush administration's war trials effort.
    His departure as the general legal counsel of the Pentagon, a position he has held since 2001, followed a report in The Australian on Monday detailing allegations from a former military prosecutor of his political interference in the David Hicks case and amid other claims in the US media that he wanted to rig trials."

    Tomcat had an excellent article and commentary up on this last week............that was the post that i said EVERYONE should go over and look at.

  66. ON David Letterman last night, Thomas Friedman (The World is Flat) chimed in when Letterman said there are 4 words describing what is wrong with our environment: GEORGE BUSH DICK CHENEY.
    They both wondered aloud about WHY conservatives hate conservation.

    They asked: WHY ON EARTH DON'T BUSH/CHENEY SEE THE WISDOM OF INVESTING IN WIND, SOLAR AND GREEN ENERGIES if for no other reason than to MAKE MONEY in a world market?????

    Even if they believe global warming is a hoax (which it clearly isn't) why not become clean-energy independent?

  67. Mike they think Americans are gonna even LOOK at CONS-ervatives after Newt, Mark Foley, Bob Livingston, Larry Craig, David Vitter, Jack Abramoff, Bob Ney, Duke Cunningham, Condi Rice, Douglas Feith, Donald Rumsfeld, Italia Federici, Tom DeLay, Rick Santaurum, Ralph Reed, Grover Norquist, Ted Haggard, David Safavian, Karl rove, Alberto Gonzolas, "Brownie", Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, Irving (scooter) Libby, Scott McClellan, Ari Fleicher, George (macaca) Allen, Paul Wolfowitz, Bernie Keric, Claude Allen, Harriet Meirs, Lurita Doan, Kyle Foggo, Howard Krongard, Richard Perle, Susan Ralston, Kenneth Tomlinson, Executive Order 13233, State Secrets Privilege, Free speech zones, EPA 9/11 pollution controversy, K street project, Misrepresentation of cause of death of Pat Tillman, Bush White House e-mail controversy, Criticism of government response to Hurricane Katrina, Walter Reed Army Medical Center neglect scandal, 2002 New Hampshire Senate election phone jamming scandal, NSA warrantless surveillance controversy, Enhanced interrogation, Downing Street memo, Halliburton, Dubai Ports World controversy, Dismissal of U.S. attorneys controversy, Unitary executive theory, Jeff Gannon, Waterboarding, and a whole host of other crimes against the United States.

    Those two lost souls really think that Americans are that dumb?

    They think people are gonna back anybody who worked for or enabled the bush criminal organization or the reich wing party of criminally organized corruption, pedophile protection and hypocritical false family values?

    What ever they are on they should bottle and sell, cause they would put the drug cartels out of business.

  68. Oops time for the reichwingers to slander another general for telling the truth to congress;

    Points for Candor

    The director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Lt. Gen. Michael D. Maples, told the Senate today that waterboarding is inhumane and a violation of the Geneva Conventions.

    --David Kurtz

    Just might mean Bush ET AL committed war crimes doesn't it?

  69. I guess the Iraqi opinion of the surge doesn't count in Washington does it?

    here it is;

    ...Iraqis have actually said the “surge” has “worsened” their lives. According to a September 2007 ABC/BBC/NHK poll (.pdf):

    79 percent oppose the presence of coalition forces, unchanged since winter.

    63 percent say it was wrong for the U.S. to have invaded Iraq, up from 52 percent in March and 39 percent in Feb. 2004.

    47 percent now favor “immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces,” a 12-point rise since March.

  70. BTW remember former Florida state Rep. Bob Allen who pulled a Larry Craig in a mens room also?

    Well a democratic candidate just won his supposedly safe seat in the Florida legislature;

    A sign of things to come? Dem wins GOP seat

    Today was the special election for House District 32 on Florida’s East Coast. The district was vacated when former Rep. Bob Allen resigned after being convicted of soliciting sex.

    The seat was fairly safe - held by a Republican for some time. Bob Allen and before him Republican Randy Ball.

    But tonight, at least from what I can see on the Florida Department of State website, the seat was won by a Democrat

    Hows that family values fraud scheme working out for the GOPers?

    Not so good I see.

  71. What do ya know the reich wing foole who screeched on Bill Mahar's show about Barack NOT wearing a US flag pin on his lapel showed up on national television, to wit the Dan Abrams show to answer about his charges about Barack obama, and the lying reich wing piece of crap wasn't wearing one either, talk about being a reich wing HYPOCRITE.

    He's saying this is what we can expect from the people who hate the US constitution and want 100 years of war in Iraq.

    Typical do as I say not as I do reichwinger.

    At least Dan Abrams called him on it and made the foole look like a foole.

  72. clif said...
    Bartlebee it was, Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) who lied about Barack Obama on Bill Mahar's show

    Yea, thats the ratfink. He claimed Obama refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance, which is an out and out lie.

    What sucked is Maher nor his guests called him on it.

  73. Shame on Maher for allowing some jackass to lie on his show............this pack of pathetic fools is gonna lie and screech and smear with nazi rhetoric from now on and they need to get called on it.

  74. This is interesting;

    Greenspan tells Gulf to drop dollar

    Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the US central bank, or Fed, has said that inflation rates in Gulf states, which are reaching near record levels, would fall "significantly" if oil producers dropped their US dollar pegs.

    Speaking at an investment conference on Monday in Jedda, Saudi Arabia, he said the pegs restrict the region's ability to control inflation by forcing them to duplicate US monetary policy at a time when the Fed is cutting rates to ward off an economic downturn.

    Debate is rife in the Gulf on how to tackle inflation.

    Levels have hit seven per cent in Saudi Arabia, the highest in 27 years and a 19-year peak of 9.3 per cent in the United Arab Emirates in 2006.

    Free float?

    "In the short term free floating ... will not fully dissipate inflationary pressure, although it would significantly do so," Greenspan said.

    Saudi and UAE central bank chiefs are in favour of retaining dollar pegs, but Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al-Thani, the prime minister of Qatar, is pushing for regional currency reform to avert possible unilateral revaluations designed to curb inflation.

    According to Hamad Saud al-Sayyari, governor of the Saudi central bank, floating the Saudi riyal would not be appropriate for an economy that relies on oil exports.

    "Floating is beneficial when the economy and exports are diverse ... as for the kingdom it remains reliant on the export of a single commodity," he said.

    Investor attraction

    The dollar peg was also defended by Sultan Nasser al-Suweidi, the UAE central bank governor, at a conference in Abu Dhabi on Monday.

    He said the policy was helping Gulf states attract foreign investments.

    "They did very well for our economies because it has led to more capital flows," al-Suweidi said.

    Qatar, has the region's highest inflation, and is considering the revaluing of the Qatari riyal to combat inflation currently at 13.74 per cent.

    The exchange rate contributes to about 40 per cent of inflation in Qatar, where the riyal is believed to be 30 per cent undervalued.

    Qatar's stand

    "We prefer always to act with all the GCC countries," Sheikh Hamad said.

    Qatar currently chairs the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council.

    "It's now time for the Gulf to have its own currency," he said.

    Sheikh Hamad said such a currency should be "like the Japanese yen or other currencies".

    Deutsche Bank said last month that both Qatar and the UAE will probably cut ties to the US dollar this year and track currency baskets as Kuwait did last May.

    At the time the dollar is at an all time low against the Euro and oil is hitting an all time high even adjusted for inflation, this definately doesn't help;

    Makes you wonder if he sees the dollar this bad, why did he work so hard to undermine the US dollar with his bubble fraudulent schemes to make the economy seem better then it really was.

  75. Clif, i'm starting to see similar articles surface.........check this one out.

  76. Inflation: America's Greatest Export

    Peter Schiff

    Unfortunately one of the few things still made in America is inflation. In fact, it now ranks as our greatest export.
    A significant by-product of the current global economic system, wherein Americans spend money they do not earn to buy foreign products that they do not make, is that trillions of dollars are now parked in foreign banks just looking for somewhere to go.

    In a healthy trade relationship, a nation pays for its imports with equal exports that result from real productivity that pumps up demand. In contrast, the current U.S. import boom has been created by the artificial demand of inflation, in which increased money supply has put more dollars in the hands of U.S. consumers. Normally, such growth in money supply would result in more substantial increases in domestic consumer prices. However for a number of reasons, the United States has been able to partially dodge this bullet. In short, we have exported our inflation abroad.

    Our foreign creditors basically have two choices as how to dispose of their excess dollars. They can use them to buy U.S. financial assets, such as bonds, stocks or real estate, or they can exchange them for other currencies or commodities, such as gold or oil. If they choose the former, foreign central banks are off the hook, as those dollars find their way back to the U.S. economy without any additional money creation. However, as foreigners are increasingly choosing the latter, foreign central banks have been "forced" to print money like it's going out of style.

    In years past, foreign investors were happy to hold strong U.S. dollars, which they either saved as a store of value, or used to purchase mighty Wall Street stocks and bonds. However, when the dollar began its epic swan dive, and U.S. investments began to grossly under-perform non-U.S. alternatives, private investors dumped their dollars en masse by exchanging them for local currencies. The unwanted dollars then became the property and problem of foreign central banks.

    If central banks did not buy these dollars, foreign citizens would have been forced to sell their surplus dollars on the open market. To prevent this from happening these banks have become the buyers of first and last resort. However, to sop up all of the excess supply, central banks must create more of their own, resulting in rapidly expanding money supplies. As much as Wall Street and government economists pretend otherwise, the expansion of money supply is the essential definition of inflation. The real reason that prices are rising in China is that so many yuan are being printed to buy up all these surplus dollars.

    For much of the past decade foreign central banks invested their swelling U.S. dollar reserves in U.S. debt instruments, such as treasuries and mortgage backed securities. Not incidentally, these purchases helped sustain our housing and credit bubbles. But as a result of increasingly poor returns, sovereign wealth funds have recently been created to buy tangible assets instead, such as large portions of Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley. Thus far these investments have performed poorly (note the 50% decline in the value of the China's stake in Blackstone). However, my guess is that such losses are of little concern, as the Chinese understand that any active use of their dollars, regardless of short-term performance, is seen as a positive because ultimately their unused dollars might be practically worthless!

    It is no accident that those regions experiencing the highest inflation are those with currencies pegged to the dollar. The formerly strong dollar provided a compelling rationale for nations with weaker currencies to maintain currency pegs. The linkage provided badly needed discipline to their central banks and created confidence in their currencies. However, it makes no sense at all for a nation with a strong currency to peg to a weaker one. It is analogous to an honor student cheating on his exam by copying the answers from the worst student in the class.

    Many economic analysts have noted that rising prices in China are now resulting in higher import prices for Americans. Ironically, many have concluded that this is evidence of China exporting inflation to the U.S. rather than China merely returning the inflation to its original source.

    Initially, the strong productivity growth of these export nations worked to lower consumer prices and masked the inflationary impact of rapid money supply growth. However, with prices now exploding throughout Asia and the Middle East, governments can no longer ignore the inflation problem. China has recently imposed price controls to deal with rapid increases in consumer prices. However, as this merely attempts to mask the symptoms of inflation rather than addressing its root cause, this policy will prove as ineffective as it did in the United States in the 1970's. Once all of these misguided cures fail, Asia and the Gulf nations will swallow the only medicine that will work. They will completely pull the plug on their dollar pegs. When they do it will not just be the dollar, but the entire American economy that goes down the drain.

    The manner in which this massive bundle of funds will be disposed will have a gargantuan impact on the trajectory of the world economy. Unfortunately for America, the decisions are out of our hands, but the ramifications will largely be ours to bear.

    February 23, 2008

  77. Check out the 6 month rise in commodity prices since the Fed rate cuts.............funny prices for EVERYTHING but stock prices are rising due to inflation.

  78. Six Months Of Fun, Fun, Fun From The Fed

    Adrian Ash
    23 February 2008

    "...If Bernanke was expecting a 13% rise on Wall Street, he's got a 45% rise in gold instead - plus a real disaster in US Treasury bond yields..."

    THIS WEEK marked the six-month anniversary of the Fed's first cut to US interest rates during the current world banking crisis.

    And it's been fun, fun, fun ever since for hard asset investors.

    Aimed at promoting "orderly conditions" in the world of finance, that 0.5% cut to the Fed's discount rate kick-started the sharpest collapse in Dollar interest rates since...well, since last time it tried to restore order to the value of US financial assets.

    But while short-term money markets remain tight six months later - and the subprime panic has since spread to "monoline" bond insurers, private equity groups, pan-national banking giants and even US student-loan finance - the only order so far has come in raw materials, rather than finance.

    A big fat order of whopper-sized gains, in fact, with a fried egg on top for good measure...

    Crude Oil: +37.5%
    Natural Gas: +29.6%
    Copper: +22.5%
    Platinum: +72.0%
    Silver: +45.1%
    Wheat: +66.5%
    Soybeans: +68.4%
    The price of gold meantime - whose only real utility, unlike all other natural resources, is as a store of value - has now risen in twenty of the last 27 weeks. Spot gold prices have gained 44.7% since the morning of August 17th, just before the Fed announced its "extra-ordinary" rate change.

    Whereas the S&P500 stock index has dropped 7.5% of its value. Which surely wasn't the plan.

  79. McCain’s Canal Zone Birth Prompts Queries About Whether That Rules Him Out


    The question has nagged at the parents of Americans born outside the continental United States for generations: Dare their children aspire to grow up and become president? In the case of Senator John McCain of Arizona, the issue is becoming more than a matter of parental daydreaming.

    Mr. McCain’s likely nomination as the Republican candidate for president and the happenstance of his birth in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936 are reviving a musty debate that has surfaced periodically since the founders first set quill to parchment and declared that only a “natural-born citizen” can hold the nation’s highest office.

    Almost since those words were written in 1787 with scant explanation, their precise meaning has been the stuff of confusion, law school review articles, whisper campaigns and civics class debates over whether only those delivered on American soil can be truly natural born. To date, no American to take the presidential oath has had an official birthplace outside the 50 states.

    “There are powerful arguments that Senator McCain or anyone else in this position is constitutionally qualified, but there is certainly no precedent,” said Sarah H. Duggin, an associate professor of law at Catholic University who has studied the issue extensively. “It is not a slam-dunk situation.”

    Mr. McCain was born on a military installation in the Canal Zone, where his mother and father, a Navy officer, were stationed. His campaign advisers say they are comfortable that Mr. McCain meets the requirement and note that the question was researched for his first presidential bid in 1999 and reviewed again this time around.

    But given mounting interest, the campaign recently asked Theodore B. Olson, a former solicitor general now advising Mr. McCain, to prepare a detailed legal analysis. “I don’t have much doubt about it,” said Mr. Olson, who added, though, that he still needed to finish his research.

    Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina and one of Mr. McCain’s closest allies, said it would be incomprehensible to him if the son of a military member born in a military station could not run for president.

    “He was posted there on orders from the United States government,” Mr. Graham said of Mr. McCain’s father. “If that becomes a problem, we need to tell every military family that your kid can’t be president if they take an overseas assignment.”

    The phrase “natural born” was in early drafts of the Constitution. Scholars say notes of the Constitutional Convention give away little of the intent of the framers. Its origin may be traced to a letter from John Jay to George Washington, with Jay suggesting that to prevent foreigners from becoming commander in chief, the Constitution needed to “declare expressly” that only a natural-born citizen could be president.

    No wonder McCain loves sending Americans into war: McCain is a FOREIGNER!

  80. Last nail in hiullary's coffin?

    " It may be sound unbelievable, but conservative Rush Limbaugh is urging Republicans to cross party lines this Tuesday in primaries in Ohio and Texas and vote for Hillary Clinton.

    During his No. 1 rated radio show and on his Web site,, the former Clinton archenemy has told listeners to “pimp themselves” for just one day vote by voting for Hillary to keep the Democratic Party “at war with itself.”

    Citing a story in a Texas newspaper headlined “Many Republicans to Vote for Obama," Limbaugh told listeners this week: “I understand I've got a big challenge here to try to get Republicans to change their minds on this and vote for Hillary to keep her in the race, to keep that party at war with itself . . .

    “It's clear that Republicans in Texas have been listening to this program where we have advised Republicans to pimp themselves for a day and go vote in the Democrat primary . . . I just think, at this stage, the longer Hillary can stay in this, the better for us.”

    Limbaugh said he wants to see Hillary and Barack Obama continue battling, noting that the battle will end if Hillary is vanquished and Obama can focus completely on presumptive GOP nominee John McCain.

    “I know I'm fighting an uphill battle . . . vote for Hillary to keep this campaign going, this 'uncivil war,'” Rush said.

    “Remember what this is, this is about us winning. You have to understand, it's not about Hillary winning; It's about us winning. It's about our party winning. It's about those people losing. They've got some problems in the Democratic Party. It's not all sweetness and light over there . . .

    “If Hillary loses this thing, all of that's going to come to a screeching halt. We want all the disruption in that party as possible. It's about us winning.” "

    From newsmax

  81. The widow of Robert Kennedy speaks out for Barack Obama at his campaign offices in Houston Texas.

  82. There is a wonderful solution that will bring America back quickly from economic despair: GREEN INDUSTRIES.

    Someone is going to get very rich. Americans will have an amazing new industry -- and college kids will have jobs and hope again.

  83. Anyone hear the Idiot In Chief talking or should i say babbling today...........its pathetic anything that brain damaged fascist doesnt agree with is a "threat" to national security..........Congress Not authorizing a trade pact with Columbia is SOMEHOW a threat to national security as is not giving the Telecom companies immunity for violating the Constitution and breaking the law by enabling our government to spy on law abiding citizens.

    Also Did you hear the cokehead scolding America that "WE" havent built ANY gasoline and oil refineries in the last 35 years.........HELLO, isnt he the "DECIDER" and hasnt HE been our elected President for the last 8 years or thats on him that NO refineries have been built on HIS WATCH, just like we were attacked on 9/11 on HIS WATCH, and just like he turned a surplus into the largest deficit EVER and mismanaged the economy into Recession ON HIS WATCH.

    Its laughable how he TRIES to take credit for everything positive but instead of saying the buck stops here and taking responsibility for the negative he tries to pawn the blame off on other people like the pompous bellicose lying coward he is.

  84. Ok, so Bush has come out and said that the United States is not in nor is going to be in a recession.

    Is it just me, or does he remind other people of Nero -- you know, playing the fiddle while Rome burned down around him?

  85. I just hope this race gets decided soon and the repugs dont compromise the integrity of the process and decide who our nominee is based on who is not the most electable and who THEY would RATHER run against.

  86. Bush is a moron........that quote that the US is not in Recession could be his Herbert Hoover moment and could destroy the repug party for decades just like Hoover's and Mellon's callous indifference and denial of reality did 3/4 of a century ago.

  87. Mike, Bush is LYING about NOT building new refinery capacity, they don't go out and buy land and get environmental approval for a completely new refinery because they have enough land to build the equivalent of 10 new 100,000 barrel capacity new refineries on land they already own.

    They could build where they were already situated so they didn't need the extra expense of buying new land. This is an OLD republican LIE they bring up time after time and Bush is one of the head republican LIARS in Washington today.

    Typical he can't tell the whole truth to the American people here, like he didn't tell the whole truth about His criminal war in Iraq and the made up reasons he wanted to go and illegally invade a country which had NOTHING to do with 9-11.

  88. Mike read this and think about it;

    Extended Primary Season Could Be A Boon To the Democrats

    He makes some very good points, and i don't think the reichwingers will flip and pimp themselves like the drug addicted fat lying pedophilic gasbag wants then to, because McCain doesn't have it all tied up, and his latest flap from Cincinnati is making a good portion of them MAD and want to vote against him, which means they probably will vote for "the Huckster".

    Most reichwingers don't see things like the drug addled brain of that loser who hides behind a radio show with a little hair on his ass the only reason he couldn't join the military during Vietnam.

  89. Mike remember the only part of America Bush really cares about isn't in a recession, just the 90% he doesn't care about is dealing with the problems that this recession is causing.

  90. Bush government incompetence in action;

    ACLU calls out US over 'absurd bloating' of terror watch list

    by Nick Juliano

    More that 900,000 people are currently listed as suspected terrorists on the US government's "do not fly" list, and that number will grow to beyond 1 million by summer, says the American Civil Liberties Union.

    "If there were a million terrorists in this country, our cities would be in ruins," Barry Steinhardt, director of the ACLU's Technology and Liberty Program, stated in a press release from the group. "The absurd bloating of the terrorist watch lists is yet another example of how incompetence by our security apparatus threatens our rights without offering any real security."

    The ACLU has launched a new Web site to track the growth of the watch list, which it says includes thousands of innocent Americans, including prominent politicians and authors as well as people with common names.

    The group says its count is "extrapolated from a September 2007 report by the Inspector General of the Department of Justice, which reported that the Terrorist Screening Center had over 700,000 names in its database as of April 2007, and that the list was growing by an average of over 20,000 records per month." As of Wednesday afternoon, the ACLU said there were about 917,500 names on the list.

    Having such an unwieldy list does little to protect against terrorism, the ACLU argues, and it violates the constitutional rights of innocent people on the list who are hassled by airport security.

    "Homeland Security's handling of the watch lists is typical of this administration's blundering approach to the war on terror," said ACLU Senior Legislative Counsel Tim Sparapani. "Create sprawling new systems for sifting through the population, throw an indiscriminately broad range of names into the mix, fairly or not, and treat the rights of innocent people as an afterthought."

    Welcome to one facet of the bush police state he wants to control us all with. He has already admitted that things would be easier for him if he was a dictator, and this list is one way to get around constitutional protections of ordinary Americans the Bush criminal empire doesn't like, like the fact Teddy Kennedy is on that list.

    here are others;

    1. Daniel Brown, a United States Marine returning from Iraq, was prevented from boarding a flight home in April 2006 because his name matched one on the No Fly List. The rest of his company refused to leave the airport until Brown was allowed to board. (good for them)

    2. David Fathi, an attorney for the ACLU of Iranian descent and a plaintiff in the ACLU lawsuit.(typical reichwing attack against the ACLU)

    3. Robert J. Johnson, a surgeon and a former lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army, was told in 2006 that he was on the list, although he had had no problem in flying the month before. Johnson was running as a Democrat against U.S. Representative John McHugh, a Republican. Johnson wondered whether he was on the list because of his opposition to the Iraq War. He stated, "This could just be a government screw-up, but I don't know, and they won't tell me." (I wonder if KKKarl put him on the list?)

    4. In August 2004, Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) told a Senate Judiciary Committee discussing the No Fly List that he had appeared on the list and had been repeatedly delayed at airports. He said it had taken him three weeks of appeals directly to Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge to have him removed from the list. Kennedy said he was eventually told that the name "T Kennedy" was added to the list because it was once used as an alias of a suspected terrorist. There are an estimated 7,000 American men whose legal names correspond to "T Kennedy". (Senator Kennedy, whose first name is Edward and for whom "Ted" is only a nickname, would not be one of them.) Recognizing that as a U.S. Senator he was in a privileged position of being able to contact Ridge, Kennedy said of "ordinary citizens": "How are they going to be able to get to be treated fairly and not have their rights abused?" the can't tell the difference between a T and a E? and these ignorant clowns are what bush says is gonna protect us all from the evil terraists? .... RIGHT)

    5. U.S. Representative John Lewis (D-GA), widely known for his civil rights advocacy, has been stopped many times. ( like his congressional ID doesn't count to the Bush storm troopers?)

    6. James Moore, an Emmy-winning television news correspondent, co-author of Bush's Brain: How Karl Rove Made George W. Bush Presidential, political activist, and outspoken critic of the Bush administration, was placed on the No Fly List. (another KKKarl addition).

    7. Walter F. Murphy, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton, reported that the following exchange took place at Newark on 1 March 2007, where he was denied a boarding pass "because I [Professor Murphy] was on the Terrorist Watch list." The airline employee asked, "Have you been in any peace marches? We ban a lot of people from flying because of that." "I explained," said professor Murphy, "that I had not so marched but had, in September 2006, given a lecture at Princeton, televised and put on the web, highly critical of George Bush for his many violations of the constitution." To which the airline employee responded, "That'll do it." (that just about explains it doesn't it?)

    8. Jesselyn Radack, a former United States Department of Justice ethics adviser who argued that John Walker Lindh was entitled to an attorney, was placed on the No Fly List as part of what many believe to be a reprisal for her whistleblowing. (I wonder who thought she needed special treatment by the Bush storm troopers/)

    9. The list includes international dignitaries like Nabih Berri, the head of the Lebanese parliament who recently met with Condoleezza Rice.

    10. The list also includes head of state Evo Morales, the president of Bolivia. ( I wonder why HE is on the list?)

    But even more interesting is who ISN'T on the list;

    1. The list deliberately omits the names of some known terrorists, apparently so that intelligence agencies can track them as they fly ... (makes the list kinda stupid when you target innocent Americans and leave off KNOWN terrorists doesn't it?)

    2. The list only includes two people involved in the A. Q. Khan nuclear smuggling ring; dozens of their associates are omitted. (So they can continue doing business?)

    3. Numerous anti-Castro Cubans with records of suspicious and criminal activity are missing from the list. (this is interesting, we consider Cuba a state sponsor of terraism, but don't put it's known terraists on the list?)

    A high-level official at United Airlines calls the list “a joke.” A Transportation Security Administration official says: “No-fly doesn’t protect anyone. It is every government agency’s cover-your-ass list of names. Many of the really bad guys are never put on the list because the intelligence people think the airlines are not trustworthy. That makes the incomplete list we give the airlines next to worthless.” (then why do it? oh right Bush Admin CYA)

    Wanna bet next January a whole bunch of people come off the list?

  91. This is quite a flip flop for Bush;

    Army manual upgrades nation-building

    New Army Manual Says Nation-Building Operations Are As Important As Combat

    Didn't Bush run in 2000 and say he don't do him no nation building, then prove it in Iraq and Afghanistan?

    I wonder why he decided to flip flop on his position, but still fail in the nation building in Iraq and Afghanistan/

  92. And before some reichwing boot licking neo-con enabler screeches about how wonderful Iraq is at the moment;

    This might just slow their lies and spin down a little bit;

    Sunni Forces Losing Patience With U.S.

    Citing Lack of Support, Frustrated Iraqi Volunteers Are Abandoning Posts

    U.S.-backed Sunni volunteer forces, which have played a vital role in reducing violence in Iraq, are increasingly frustrated with the American military and the Iraqi government over what they see as a lack of recognition of their growing political clout and insufficient U.S. support.

    Since Feb. 8, thousands of fighters in restive Diyala province have left their posts in order to pressure the government and its American backers to replace the province's Shiite police chief. On Wednesday, their leaders warned that they would disband completely if their demands were not met. In Babil province, south of Baghdad, fighters have refused to man their checkpoints after U.S. soldiers killed several comrades in mid-February in circumstances that remain in dispute.

    Some force leaders and ground commanders also reject a U.S.-initiated plan that they say offers too few Sunni fighters the opportunity to join Iraq's army and police, and warn that low salaries and late payments are pushing experienced members to quit.

    The predominantly Sunni Awakening forces, referred to by the U.S. military as the Sons of Iraq or Concerned Local Citizens, are made up mostly of former insurgents who have turned against extremists because of their harsh tactics and interpretation of Islam. The U.S. military pays many fighters roughly $10 a day to guard and patrol their areas. Thousands more unpaid volunteers have joined out of tribal and regional fealties.

    U.S. efforts to manage this fast-growing movement of about 80,000 armed men are still largely effective, but in some key areas the control is fraying. The tensions are the most serious since the Awakening was launched in Anbar province in late 2006, according to Iraqi officials, U.S. commanders and 20 Awakening leaders across Iraq. Some U.S. military officials say they are growing concerned that the Sunni insurgent group al-Qaeda in Iraq has infiltrated Awakening forces in some areas.

    "Now, there is no cooperation with the Americans," said Haider Mustafa al-Kaisy, an Awakening commander in Baqubah, the capital of Diyala province, an insurgent stronghold that U.S. and Iraqi forces are still struggling to control. "We have stopped fighting al-Qaeda."

    U.S. military officials and commanders say they are seeking to defuse the rising tensions before hard-won U.S. gains are jeopardized. "Despite some of the frustrations, the frictions and the attacks on the Sons of Iraq, they are continuing to volunteer. As an interim solution, it seems to be working well," said Col. Bill Buckner, a senior U.S. military spokesman. "It's clear Iraq remains a fragile security environment. We want to address many of their concerns as best as we can, so that they continue to be part of the solution to the security situation in Iraq."

    Combine this with the Turkish invasion of Kurdistan in northern Iraq, and the trouble in Basra between the al Sadr's Madhi Army and SCRI who make up the Maliki forces in that city, the 3-4 million refugees inside and outside Iraq who need to come home, and it looks like Iraq ain't as rosy as Bush lies about, is it?

    It looks like Iraq is getting worse NOT better, but with the MSM ignoring Iraq for their favorite horse race which they make TONS of money off of, the American people don't know it YET.

  93. The situation in Iraq is much worse than anyone knows.

    Most of the country is divvied up between warlords. There are significant areas where US forces dare not enter.

    Half a trillion dollars and 4,000 lives, and we STILL cannot control ONE CITY.

    That is the truth about Iraq.

  94. According to a Nobel winning economist, Georgie's illegal war is the root cause of the sub-prime mess;

    Iraq war 'caused slowdown in the US'

    THE Iraq war has cost the US 50-60 times more than the Bush administration predicted and was a central cause of the sub-prime banking crisis threatening the world economy, according to Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz.

    The former World Bank vice-president yesterday said the war had, so far, cost the US something like $US3trillion ($3.3 trillion) compared with the $US50-$US60-billion predicted in 2003.

    Australia also faced a real bill much greater than the $2.2billion in military spending reported last week by Australian Defence Force chief Angus Houston, Professor Stiglitz said, pointing to higher oil prices and other indirect costs of the wars.

    Professor Stiglitz told the Chatham House think tank in London that the Bush White House was currently estimating the cost of the war at about $US500 billion, but that figure massively understated things such as the medical and welfare costs of US military servicemen.

    The war was now the second-most expensive in US history after World War II and the second-longest after Vietnam, he said.

    [All because Georgie likes to LIE]

    The spending on Iraq was a hidden cause of the current credit crunch because the US central bank responded to the massive financial drain of the war by flooding the American economy with cheap credit.

    "The regulators were looking the other way and money was being lent to anybody this side of a life-support system," he said.

    That led to a housing bubble and a consumption boom, and the fallout was plunging the US economy into recession and saddling the next US president with the biggest budget deficit in history, he said.

    Professor Stiglitz, an academic at the Columbia Business School and a former economic adviser to president Bill Clinton, said a further $US500 billion was going to be spent on the fighting in the next two years and that could have been used more effectively to improve the security and quality of life of Americans and the rest of the world.

    The money being spent on the war each week would be enough to wipe out illiteracy around the world, he said.

    Just a few days' funding would be enough to provide health insurance for US children who were not covered, he said.

    [But Georgie LOVES him some war much more then he wants to help out disadvantaged sick children ....]

    The public had been encouraged by the White House to ignore the costs of the war because of the belief that the war would somehow pay for itself or be paid for by Iraqi oil or US allies.

    [Another Bush LIE]

    "When the Bush administration went to war in Iraq it obviously didn't focus very much on the cost. Larry Lindsey, the chief economic adviser, said the cost was going to be between $US100billion and $US200 billion - and for that slight moment of quasi-honesty he was fired.

    "(Then defence secretary Donald) Rumsfeld responded and said 'baloney', and the number the administration came up with was $US50 to $US60 billion. We have calculated that the cost was more like $US3 trillion.

    [We all know how well Ronald mcDumsfeld lies and interferes with military professionals so he can screw everything up and Georgie can get all the death he wants]

    "Three trillion is a very conservative number, the true costs are likely to be much larger than that."

    Five years after the war, the US was still spending about $US50billion every three months on direct military costs, he said.

    Professor Stiglitz and another Clinton administration economist, Linda Bilmes, have produced a book, The Three Trillion Dollar War, pulling together their research on the true cost of the war, which does not include the cost to Iraq.

    One of the greatest discrepancies is that the official figures do not include the long-term healthcare and social benefits for injured servicemen, who are surviving previously fatal attacks because of improved body armour.

    [But Bush tries very hard to keep those wounded soldiers from getting the medical care they deserve so why should he budget for it?]

    "The ratio of injuries to fatalities in a normal war is 2:1. In this war they admitted to 7:1 but a true number is (something) like 15:1."

    Some 100,000 servicemen have been diagnosed with serious psychological problems and the soldiers doing the most tours of duty have not yet returned.

    Professor Stiglitz attributed to the Iraq war $US5-$US10 of the almost $US80-a-barrel increase in oil prices since the start of the war, adding that it would have been reasonable to attribute more than $US35 of that rise to the war.

    [So Georgie's and Dick's oil buddies can rake in the blood money the troops are dying for]

    He said the British bill for its role in the war was about 20 times the pound stg. 1billion ($2.1 billion) that former prime minister Tony Blair estimated before the war.

    The British Government was yesterday ordered to release details of its planning for the war, when the country's Information Commissioner backed a Freedom of Information request for the minutes of two cabinet meetings in the days before the war.

    Commissioner Richard Thomas said that because of the importance of the decision to go to war, the public interest in disclosing the minutes outweighed the public interest in withholding the information.

    George W Bush has the reverse Midas touch;

    ....... everything he touches turns to crap.

    But his criminal friends make billions while the troops die or come home horribly wounded and mentally scarred for life.

    Therefore Georgie thinks everything is just wonderful.

  95. Warms My Heart

    Ickes: Seen any missteps in the Clinton primary race? Talk to Penn.

    Late Update: So, so sad. Now even Shrum's piling on about Penn's incompetence. Now that's gotta hurt ...
    [Because if anybody knows about running incompetent campaigns for federal office it is Bob Shrum, who is like 0-8 now....]

    Bob Shrum on Mark Penn's screw ups

    Late Udpate: Now Arianna decides to slap Penn around a bit.

    [Yea, there ain't nothin' like piling on somebody who is publicly screwing up daily for all the press and America to see.]

    From Arianna's article, and there is a good amount of poetic justice in this statement;

    Should Barack Obama end up winning his party's nomination, he will give his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention in Denver on August 28 -- 45 years to the day Martin Luther King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

    --Josh Marshall

    Couldn't happen to a more deserving guy in this campaign.

  96. If there is one candidate to be Secertary of State even worse then Condi where's the shoe sale? Rice;

    This is it;

    Bolton As McCain's Secretary Of State?

    But St John 100 years of war in Iraq and bomb, bomb .... bomb, bomb Iran McCain just might go there.

  97. Wanna know why the neo-cons, reichwingers and gutless chicken hawks are soooo afraid of Barack Obama?

    Here is his 2002 speech against the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq;

    Against Going to War With Iraq

    Good afternoon. Let me begin by saying that although this has been billed as an anti-war rally, I stand before you as someone who is not opposed to war in all circumstances. The Civil War was one of the bloodiest in history, and yet it was only through the crucible of the sword, the sacrifice of multitudes, that we could begin to perfect this union, and drive the scourge of slavery from our soil. I don’t oppose all wars.

    My grandfather signed up for a war the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed, fought in Patton’s army. He saw the dead and dying across the fields of Europe; he heard the stories of fellow troops who first entered Auschwitz and Treblinka. He fought in the name of a larger freedom, part of that arsenal of democracy that triumphed over evil, and he did not fight in vain. I don’t oppose all wars.

    After September 11th, after witnessing the carnage and destruction, the dust and the tears, I supported this administration’s pledge to hunt down and root out those who would slaughter innocents in the name of intolerance, and I would willingly take up arms myself to prevent such tragedy from happening again. I don’t oppose all wars. And I know that in this crowd today, there is no shortage of patriots, or of patriotism.

    What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other armchair, weekend warriors in this administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne.

    What I am opposed to is the attempt by political hacks like Karl Rove to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income - to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression. That’s what I’m opposed to. A dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics. Now let me be clear - I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power. He has repeatedly defied UN resolutions, thwarted UN inspection teams, developed chemical and biological weapons, and coveted nuclear capacity. He’s a bad guy. The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him.

    But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors, that the Iraqi economy is in shambles, that the Iraqi military a fraction of its former strength, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history. I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a US occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of Al Qaeda. I am not opposed to all wars. I’m opposed to dumb wars.

    So for those of us who seek a more just and secure world for our children, let us send a clear message to the President today. You want a fight, President Bush? Let’s finish the fight with Bin Laden and Al Qaeda, through effective, coordinated intelligence, and a shutting down of the financial networks that support terrorism, and a homeland security program that involves more than color-coded warnings. You want a fight, President Bush?

    Let’s fight to make sure that the UN inspectors can do their work, and that we vigorously enforce a non-proliferation treaty, and that former enemies and current allies like Russia safeguard and ultimately eliminate their stores of nuclear material, and that nations like Pakistan and India never use the terrible weapons already in their possession, and that the arms merchants in our own country stop feeding the countless wars that rage across the globe. You want a fight, President Bush?

    Let’s fight to make sure our so-called allies in the Middle East, the Saudis and the Egyptians, stop oppressing their own people, and suppressing dissent, and tolerating corruption and inequality, and mismanaging their economies so that their youth grow up without education, without prospects, without hope, the ready recruits of terrorist cells. You want a fight, President Bush? Let’s fight to wean ourselves off Middle East oil, through an energy policy that doesn’t simply serve the interests of Exxon and Mobil. Those are the battles that we need to fight. Those are the battles that we willingly join. The battles against ignorance and intolerance. Corruption and greed. Poverty and despair.

    The consequences of war are dire, the sacrifices immeasurable. We may have occasion in our lifetime to once again rise up in defense of our freedom, and pay the wages of war. But we ought not — we will not — travel down that hellish path blindly. Nor should we allow those who would march off and pay the ultimate sacrifice, who would prove the full measure of devotion with their blood, to make such an awful sacrifice in vain.

    Once you read what he says and not the lies the reichwingers keep saying about him, you realize he has the first logical and intelligent vision of WTF to do in the middle east since before Reagan.

    That scares the widdle reichwingers as much as the thought of them going into combat.

  98. This was in 2002, think Obama doesn't know what is really going on still?

    Think he isn't ready to lead?

    If you do put the reichwing kool-aid down it is destroying your critical thinking skills and this country.

  99. Your damn right Obama scares the gutless little Reich wing fascists!

  100. clif said...
    Bush government incompetence in action;

    ACLU calls out US over 'absurd bloating' of terror watch list

    by Nick Juliano

    More that 900,000 people are currently listed as suspected terrorists on the US government's "do not fly" list, and that number will grow to beyond 1 million by summer, says the American Civil Liberties Union.

    "If there were a million terrorists in this country, our cities would be in ruins," Barry Steinhardt, director of the ACLU's Technology and Liberty Program, stated in a press release from the group. "The absurd bloating of the terrorist watch lists is yet another example of how incompetence by our security apparatus threatens our rights without offering any real security.""

    Just what we've been saying for tears now these treasonous megalomanics and wannabe dictators need to be tried for treason against this country and our Constitution and they need to answer for all the lives they have ruined and sacrificed for treasonous lies.

    its reprehensible that that little fascist bully could on a whim put an innocent person on a do not fly list or imprison an innocent person indefinately or confiscate their assets and deny them a lawyer or fair trial...........those are treasounous crimes and these evil men need to be held accountable.

  101. Lydia said "MORE ON OBAMA RUMORS....
    Why won't these rumors die? Those who perpetuate them don't tell you the whole story. Are the individuals behind this "true patriots"? No doubt most of them wear flag lapel pins. And most of them probably put their hands over their hearts during the National Anthem."

    You mean most of them put their hands over that lump of black coal where their heart SHOULD be, while they cross their fingers behind their back and scheme treasonous thoughts as they chant the pledge to the flag and pretend to the world what brave fearless patriots they are.................these slimy fascist thugs are enemies of freedom they have NO heart or soul.

    These small minded losers cant see the forest for the these pious fanatics the symbol of freedom and patriotism has become far more important than the concept or act them false and hollow flowery words about freedom and liberty and symbols of patriotism like a lapel pin or flag become far more important than actually acting like a patriot or like they value freedom or that its important enough to fight for and want to protect.

    These hippocritical fools babble about fearlessly fighting for and protecting freedom yet sacrifice that freedom and liberty at the first sign of danger like the gutless hippocritical cowards they are............our founding fathers would turn over in their graves at the vile hippocritical authoritarian fascists that infect the repug party and cloak their slimy evil agenda in phony patriotism and babble about democracy and freedom when they are the greatest foes to those two ideals the world has seen in the last 60 years.

  102. clif said...
    Mike remember the only part of America Bush really cares about isn't in a recession, just the 90% he doesn't care about is dealing with the problems that this recession is causing."

    Like i said Bush is having his Hoover/Mellon moment........lets hope the repugs are finished for a few decades and we get another FDR like New Deal followed by another few decades of prosperity...............funny isnt it how prosperity and the repugs being out of power go hand in hand!

  103. Think about this we are not even in the Summer driving season and oil is at $102 and gasoline is $3.25............i honestly think we could see $4.50 a gallon gas this summer..........and that idiot Bush thinks we wont be in recession.

  104. Could this be why?

  105. Bernanke's Mission Impossible!

    Nadeem Walayat
    27 February 2008

    Ben Bernanke's Mission Impossible is to deliver a favorable economic climate conducive towards a Republican election victory in November 2008,

    The mission requires the US Fed to -

    abandon the defense of the dollar,
    to abandon the fight against inflation,
    to prop up the ailing banking system by as much money as is required (money supply),
    Forget the $140 billion bailout package, the Fed will throw as much as ten times that at the credit crisis so as to meet the requirements of the political establishment of having done everything within its power to deliver the most favorable election conditions possible, even going so far as to mail out several checks to every US tax payer, starting with announced $600 'tax rebate'.
    The objective is to DELAY the impact of the recession until AFTER the November US election.

    History Repeating - 1970's Stagflation

    The 1970's stagflation was sparked by the then Fed Chairman Arthur Burns in 1972 printing money to ensure his master, the Republican President Nixon was re-elected. This was exacerbated by the oil crisis, and later in the decade was not helped by Jimmy Carters clueless appointment at the helm of the Fed which had the effect of making Nixon's inflation far worse. If Jimmy Carter had, had a competent Fed chairman other than Miller, then Ronald Reagon may never have made his curtain call. However the damage had been done and Carter was forced by the ' Wall Street establishment' to appoint Paul Volcker as the Fed Chairman, unfortunately under Jimmy Carter he had to serve two masters and hence the US remained in stagflation into the November 1980 election as the printing presses were running in an attempt to stave off the Democrats defeat. Jimmy Carter may even have stood a chance of winning had it not been for the Iranian Ayatollah's interference in the US election.

    It was only after the 1980 election and Ronald Reagon's republican victory that the fight against inflation began. Paul Volcker seized the moment to push Interest rates up sharply which pushed the US and much of the world into a deep recession. There was plenty of time until the 1984 election by which time the money supply printing presses would once again flow at full speed to ensure Ronald Reagon's re-election. The price of which was a burgeoning debt mountain as the Great Communicator left the US with a national debt of $3 trillion up from $700 billion.

    Do you see a pattern here yet ?

    The role of the Fed is not primarily to fight inflation, but to deliver the conditions conducive towards an election win for the incumbent party. That role supercedes all others, as we are again witnessing today.

    The implications are clear, that those anticipating that the US is already in a recession may find themselves scratching their heads all the way into the November election, as the already manipulated economic statistics increasingly paint a more favorable economic picture as the Fed continues to drive interest rates lower and flood the financial markets with as much liquidity as the banks require to stay afloat.

    Even the US housing market may find a brief respite, by amazingly clocking up several months of rising prices this summer with housing market consensus consequences shifting towards a potential housing bottom. However the downtrend is expected to re-assert itself following the US election.

    What if the Fed Succeeds and the US Avoids Recession 2008 ?

    Then whoever wins the November election, (which at this time strongly favors a Democrat) will let the Fed do its job of priming the US economy for the NEXT elections in 2010 (mid-term) and the presidential election in 2012. The strategy presented will be clear for immediate sharp economic pain with Fed policy going into reverse on interest rates, much as Paul Volcker acted following Ronald Reagon's election in 1980. Interest rates will be raised sharply and the US and much of the western world will enter into a recession with the objective of eliminating inflation.

    However contrary to many analysts, I don't see today's situation quite on the same scale as the 1970's STAGFLATION which was left to fester for some 8 years and thus subsequently required a much harsher response than today's INFLATION requires, therefore there interest rates are not expected to be hiked to anywhere near the levels seen during the early 1980's.

    What if the Fed Fails and there is a Recession ?

    Then the Democrats will win, and the republicans will be blamed for the recession during 2008-2009, as the Democrats subsequently take the credit for defeating inflation during 2009 and the subsequent years of economic growth.

    Outlook for the Commodities Bull Market

    Commodity Bulls may find that their bubbles are shortly about to be burst. As the worlds central banks having followed the US Fed into inflation will follow the US Fed into its fight AGAINST inflation. The Emerging markets will undoubtedly continue to demand commodities at an ever faster pace and therefore any decline would suggest to be a temporary, perhaps a bear market spanning between 12 to 18 months rather than the 20 years of deflation that we saw following the 1980's peak. The market tends to act ahead of the curve, so despite rising inflation into the US election, we may actually see a peak in commodities much sooner than November 2008.

    Outlook for the Bond Markets.

    Sharply higher interest rates implies sharply lower bond prices, at least in the initial phase as it will take time for inflation to leave the statistics from the surge going into November 2008.

    Outlook for Stock Markets

    The implication of a delayed recession suggests that stock prices will rise as the economic news coupled with the intention of the central banks money supply printing presses running at full stream with ever larger bail out packages announced to support economic activity and consumer spending. This in an atmosphere for the expectations of an imminent recession will be taken as bullish news for a quarter or two at least. Again the hangover of which will follow the November election as the delayed recession starts to bite deep into corporate earnings during 2009.

  106. The U.S. Dollar Is Being Destroyed

    Lee Rogers

    The global economy is falling apart all around us. We can expect a continued rise in the price of gold and silver as it is becoming increasingly apparent that the Federal Reserve, the U.S. government and even Alan Greenspan are doing everything they can to destroy the value of the U.S. Dollar. In fact, the policies currently being implemented by the establishment is criminal because by devaluing the U.S. Dollar they are indirectly robbing from the American middle class by destroying the purchasing power of everyone’s bank accounts that are denominated in U.S. Dollars. At this point it is becoming increasingly clear that the establishment wants a weaker U.S. Dollar considering some of the insane policies they are implementing and insane things that they are saying.

    What makes this rise in precious metals particularly interesting is the fact that the IMF has been dumping gold on to the market and gold continues to move up in value. The manipulation of the gold market is starting to fail as is the policy of managing a slow decline of the U.S. Dollar without a parabolic rise in precious metals. The rise in silver has been particularly spectacular rising around $1 in price yesterday and it shows no signs of slowing down. At this point we could easily see gold at $1,000 an ounce and silver at $20 an ounce within the next month or two. So why is all of this happening? Let’s take a look at some of the news that has come out in the past few days.

    First, Alan Greenspan actually told Arab nations in the Gulf to drop their peg to the U.S. Dollar. He actually said that the reason why they have so much inflation in their economies is because they are pegged to the U.S. Dollar. Greenspan is essentially admitting that there is inflation built into the U.S. Dollar and that’s why they are having problems with inflation. His statements also serve to undermine confidence in the value of the U.S. Dollar since many people pay close attention to what the former Federal Reserve chairman has to say. Even worse though, is that if these Arab nations decide to drop their peg to the U.S. Dollar this will further reduce demand for the currency. This will result in the U.S. Dollar continuing its move lower.

    It is certainly ironic that Greenspan who actually created this economic mess through his easy money policies in the early part of the decade is now encouraging other countries to move away from the U.S. Dollar. Greenspan has done everything he could to destroy the currency both while he was the Federal Reserve chairman and he’s continuing to do it years after he quit the post. Even when Greenspan was the Federal Reserve chairman all he did was increase the money supply and reduce interest rates whenever there was an economic crisis. Greenspan is a criminal because his policies are responsible for the current housing crisis and many of the other problems we are seeing with the economy today. It is disgusting that Greenspan would actually make statements that he knows will facilitate a further destruction of the U.S. Dollar.

    Second, the current Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke shows no signs of reversing course and setting policies that will save the U.S. Dollar. Bernanke testified in front of Congress today and he indicated that they would continue to reduce interest rates to prop up the economy. This is also a criminal act. Bernanke would prefer to sacrifice the value of the U.S. Dollar just to make the stock market look as if it is treading water. It is much more destructive from a long term basis to destroy the monetary unit that the economy is based off of than it is to raise interest rates and defend the monetary unit. The Federal Reserve should be raising interest rates to defend the U.S. Dollar. This would cause an immediate economic slowdown but long term it would save the economy. Bernanke has decided to choose the wrong option and this could cause an inflationary collapse.

    Third, the FDIC is predicting that we are facing a crisis. An article from the Wall Street Journal revealed that the FDIC is actually bringing on more people to deal with future bank failures. They aren’t hiring new people because it’s a fun thing to do. They are bringing people on because they believe things are starting to spiral out of control. This is without question an ominous indication that we could be on the brink of a major collapse.

    Fourth, the government announced that they are lifting restrictions on Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae in terms of the amount of mortgages they are allowed to hold. As private banks fail, the government will need these two entities to take over more of these mortgages. This is another indicator that the government believes that we could see a ton of these private banks fail.

    Fifth, the Russians are going to slowly start moving their oil sales away from U.S. Dollars and into Rubles. This will further erode demand for the U.S. Dollar and continue accelerating its slide downward. This combined with the Iranian oil bourse which has recently come online is going to increase pressure on the value of the U.S. Dollar. The Iranian oil bourse trades oil and other commodities for currencies other than the U.S. Dollar. It is certainly interesting that we’ve seen a huge decline in the U.S. Dollar since the Iranian oil bourse began operations.

    Sixth, we are beginning to see an escalation in food prices. In particular, the price of wheat has gone through the roof and there have been reports of panic buying. This is not only a monetary phenomenon but it is also the result of the fact that there are government subsidies for biofuels. Biofuels are essentially the result of food being turned into fuel which means there is less food in the open market and this has resulted in the price of food moving up. The United Nations has already been warning of food shortages and there have been reports of food riots in different Middle East countries. This is something that could occur in the United States if the government continues to subsidize biofuels and the Federal Reserve continues to inflate the money supply.

    As scary as this is, these are just some of the lowlights over a few days of economic news. To summarize, these news stories indicate that the U.S. Dollar is being destroyed on several different fronts and this is resulting in gold, silver and other commodities going up in U.S. Dollar denominated terms. We didn't even get a chance to talk about the phony tax rebate scam and the out of control spending by the clowns in Washington DC which are also contributing to this disaster. The U.S. Dollar Index has dropped substantially and we now see a situation where the U.S. Dollar is at an all-time low versus the Euro. We are about to witness a financial calamity of epic proportions and the establishment shows no sign of wishing to implement policies to reverse this. The end game appears to be the continued destruction of the U.S. Dollar which will allow the establishment to implement the North American Union and a regional currency which will completely undermine the sovereignty of the United States. The crisis in the U.S. Dollar will be used to facilitate this phony solution which will give the big multinational corporations and central bankers even more power.

    The only way to survive this coming economic disaster is to buy physical gold and silver. It also wouldn’t hurt to stockpile ammunition, firearms, storable foods and survival equipment. This is a very serious situation. We are going to see a substantial rise in gold, silver and other commodities and we should see a spectacular rise in the price of many junior mining stocks. The U.S. Dollar is being destroyed through inflation and those who own precious metals will be rewarded as precious metals serve as a fantastic defense against the criminal central bankers that set these criminal policies.

    Lee Rogers

  107. Fed Interest Rate Manipulation Subsidizes Wall Street And Cheats Small Investors

    Daniel R. Amerman, CFA


    A manipulated market is a market that is rife with arbitrage opportunities. In this article we will examine a federally sponsored market manipulation that is currently happening on a massive scale. The Federal Reserve has forced short-term borrowing and investment rates down to levels well below the rapidly rising rate of inflation. By taking this desperate measure to inflate the money supply, even as the Producer Price Index hits a 26 year high and the Consumer Price Index hits a 17 year high, the Fed is making clear its true priorities – it will destroy the value of the dollar and sacrifice the long term value of people’s savings, rather than allow Wall Street to feel the full pain of the mistakes and greed that led to the subprime debacle.

    As explained in the article, this intervention also has the effect of reducing real investor yields across almost all financial asset categories, effectively cheating small investors for the benefit of major investors. For those individual investors who are knowledgeable, this quite deliberate manipulation can be turned from a net worth danger into a potentially lucrative arbitrage opportunity, as introduced at the end of the article.

    (This is the second article in the 24 Reasons Why Inflation Will Trump Deflation series, and contains Reasons 3-4. While the first article would be helpful, this article also works fine on a stand-alone basis.)

    Highest Inflation Rates In 26 & 17 Years

    The official year-on-year wholesale inflation rate from January of 2007 through January of 2008 was 7.4%, as measured by the Producer Price Index. This is the largest year-on-year change in 26 years, indeed, the highest measure since the bad old days (for the value of the dollar) of the 1970s and early 80s.

    The official year-on-year retail inflation rate from January of 2007 through January of 2008 was 4.3%, as measured by the change in the Consumer Price Index. This followed a 4.1% CPI rise for the year 2007, which was the highest annual CPI change in 17 years.

    These two numbers pretty much speak for themselves as being Reason Three for why Inflation Will Trump Deflation. We’re not talking theory about what may happen over the next several years – these are taken from the headlines about what is happening right now.

    Whether the rate of inflation as experienced by the average person is higher than the official rate is another question altogether (as discussed in the article “Inflation Index Manipulation”). However, we don’t need to go there now, as the official rates are bad enough, so for this article we will use 5.85% as our inflation rate, which is the average of the annual CPI and PPI rates above.

    “Won’t you please, PLEASE, take our money?”

    Let's step back and take a big picture look at what the Federal Reserve is currently doing. The Federal Reserve controls the supply of money. The Fed is concerned that (quite justifiable) fears of recession – and the still unfolding subprime crisis – will lead to a contraction in the money supply, as lenders decline to make loans. The Fed was already making money available on extraordinarily cheap terms: the Fed funds rate started 2008 at 4.25% percent, and therefore the cost of funds was already 1.60% below the blended inflation rate. In other words, taking the inflation rate into account, we were already in a situation where the government was paying people to borrow. (The precise 4.3% CPI and 7.4% PPI January numbers were of course not known in late January of 2008 – but those are annual numbers, and almost all the monthly components were known at that time.)

    However, that was not good enough for a nervous financial system. So the Fed took the extraordinary step of lowering the cost of borrowing to 3%, which placed it a full 2.85% below the official blended inflation rate (and much lower still below what many people believe to be real inflation rates). In effect, what the Fed is saying is:

    “Take our money. Please take our money! If free isn't good enough, how about if we pay you to borrow money? In fact, here's what we'll do. If you will borrow $1 million from us, we will let you pay us back with only $941,500, next year. In other words, we'll pay you $58,500, which is the difference between the value of the million dollars you borrow today, and the value of the million dollars with which you will pay us back a year from now (after extrapolating the last 12 months of blended inflation). Now, we will ask you to pay us $30,000 in interest (3% on one million). But that's not all bad! Because we will let you deduct the $30,000 in interest expenses, which could save you $9,000 in taxes (30% combined marginal federal and state). If you take the $58,500 difference in value between what you borrow and what you have to pay back, subtract the $30,000 in interest expense, and then add back the $9,000 in tax savings on the interest expense -- that means that we are paying you a net of $37,500 on an after-inflation and after-tax basis. All you have to do in exchange is to agree to take the use of this million dollars off our hands for a year.

    ‘Won't you please, PLEASE take the money?"

    (Yes, 3% is an overnight rate and not an annual rate, but the principles are easier to understand if we annualize. There are many complexities we do not have the room to go into this article intended for the general public, instead we are concentrating on the impact upon investors.)

    This extraordinary market manipulation is Reason Four for why Inflation Will Trump Deflation. As discussed in the first article in the series, the number one factor in resolving the inflation versus deflation debate is government willpower. Is the government willing to trash the currency in order to break deflationary pressures? The United States government’s answer is unmistakable and is dominating the current markets. Faced with the greatest surge of inflation this nation has seen in decades, the Fed is responding not by trying to dampen inflation, but by throwing gasoline on the fire. It is forcing borrowing rates well below the rate of inflation and thereby flooding the system with additional money – inflationary consequences be damned. A symbolic currency that rarely even takes physical form can only have long-term value if it is resolutely defended by the government. In today’s markets, however, it is the government that is leading the attack on its own currency.

    The Wealth Redistribution Price For The Rest Of Us

    There are some quite direct costs to investors from this massive and ongoing market manipulation. One cost is that with just about any interest-bearing asset that you buy, you are getting cheated out of the market rate of interest. A market rate of interest is what a consensus of the buyers and sellers in the market would agree is a fair rate, where an investor thinks they are getting a fair return.

    In a market that was independent of deliberate manipulations, in a market where we had close to a 6% official annual rate of inflation, in a market where risk is rising fast and we don't know if bond insurers can pay their claims or if ratings are worth the paper they are written on, in a market of huge federal deficits and even larger trade deficits, where the United States cannot pay its bills either domestically or internationally, and in a market where the just retired chief comptroller of the United States was telling anyone who would listen that the government can't pay its retiree promises… I think we can be confident that the market rate is nowhere even close to 3%. If you as an investor are only getting 3%, then you are getting cheated.

    A more fundamental way of understanding the true costs to an investor of this interest rate manipulation, is to look at the return spreads for the investors who are in the market. You as an individual investor, as well as the Wall Street firms, are all investing in expectation of a positive return. As fellow buyers, you are effectively in competition with each other, where the high bid gets the asset. The difference between you is that as an individual who is simply buying assets, you are investing with the reasonable expectation that you will be able to deduct inflation, take out any expected losses in the investment category you're purchasing, take out taxes, and still come out ahead.

    The problems with this approach are succinctly illustrated in the chart above, which assumes that an investor earns a 6% return, with the same 5.85% inflationary environment we assumed for our subsidized borrowing chart. The issue with your 6% investment return is twofold. First, the purchasing power of your $1 million investment fell by $58,500, meaning your real profit (after-inflation) was only $1,500. Moreover, that is a pre-tax profit, and your tax-bill is based upon the entire $60,000 in nominal income. Whoops. So after subtracting $18,000 in taxes based upon a combined marginal tax rate of 30%, the ending after-tax and after-inflation results of buying a 6% investment in a time of 5.85% inflation, is a loss of $16,500 in real terms, or 1.6% of our starting $1 million investment.

    (This brief summary assumes a basic understanding of the principles of inflation taxes. If you found it hard to follow, or it was a new perspective for you, then the articles “Seizing Your Assets” and “Real Investment Taxes Are 256% Higher” that are contained within the “Turning Inflation Into Wealth” mini-course may be helpful to you.)

    Tilting The Playing Field

    So the investment results are poor for an ordinary investor if he or she buys an asset under the conditions illustrated. But what happens with that same investment if you are a major Wall Street firm whose capital base and profits are in need of propping up, and you are receiving an interest rate subsidy courtesy of the Federal Reserve? To understand the liability-based bailout of Wall Street that is underway right now, you need to understand the chart below:

    What this chart does is take the previous two charts and combine them, with a Wall Street firm taking out a subsidized borrowing, and using it to purchase the same asset our individual investor purchased. Indeed, the entries in the “Investment” column are identical to the investor chart, but we have slightly modified the borrowing chart by dropping the amount borrowed to $940,000, meaning 6% ($60,000) of the investment purchase is coming from equity (All the major financial firms are highly leveraged).

    When we combine the results from the borrowing and investment, since the investment is slightly larger than the borrowing, the Wall Street firm does take a small, $3,510 hit (0.4%) to its net worth from inflation alone. However, the $60,000 in income from the investment does exceed the subsidized, 3% interest cost on $940,000 by $31,800, which leaves a real, pre-tax income of $28,290 after inflation. The ability to deduct subsidized interest rates that are negative in real terms (below the inflation rate) then provides a $28,200 shelter to the firm, which reduces tax expenses by $8,460.

    Bottom line? By using the Federal Reserve subsidy, and purchasing the identical investment the individual investor buys, and achieving the identical investment results, the Wall Street firm achieves an after-tax and after-inflation return on equity of a sizzling 31.25% ($18,750 / $60,000 equity investment). The identical investment results that produced a 1.6% real loss for an individual investor, produce a 31.2% gain for the subsidized major corporation.

    Liability Subsidy Propping Up Asset Prices

    The consequences of manipulating short-term market rates then ripple out to effect the prices of all other financial assets. In every market, you as an investor are competing against firms who can borrow at the Fed funds rate, who are effectively being paid to borrow. That means – unless you are being paid to borrow, you cannot compete with these firms. For their subsidized source of funds means they can achieve after-tax and after-inflation positive returns at a much lower level than you can, meaning they can afford to pay more.

    It is this paying more for assets that constitutes much of the purpose behind this massive, bold, and unmistakable manipulation. The government has a vested interest in keeping financial asset price levels propped up well above where they would otherwise be. If you are out there as an asset only investor in financial assets and you are competing for yield against the investors who are being effectively subsidized by the federal government, that means that you will be systematically overpaying for just about any asset that you buy.

    Incidentally, there is another name for all financial assets becoming overvalued: asset inflation. When the Federal Reserve intervenes to keep asset values above what they would otherwise be, then price is higher than value. Another way of putting this is that in exchange for devaluation of the purchasing power of your money through liability subsidies, you get to pay substantively higher prices for the investments you buy.

    Three Quick Conclusions

    Life isn’t fair.

    That pretty well sums up our first conclusion. Life in the investment world is a particularly unfair place when the big boys get desperate. And they are desperate. Which means that perhaps you shouldn’t be buying financial assets.

    The second conclusion is that in reality the world is a very different place than the supremely rational world that is presented by so many columnists and advisors. You know, that calm and placid place where long term returns on asset classes endlessly repeat, for those who simply buy, hold and diversify. The real world is that the powers that be in the financial and political world are playing games with not just the money supply and investment valuations, but with the very nature of money, the likes of which the world has never seen before. Meaning that nothing is certain and everything is at risk.

    Third is that if the price of financial assets is being manipulated, then we should buy tangible assets instead. By tangible assets, we mean something you can reach out and touch, something that has an existence independent of computers and legal documents. Therefore, something the supply of which cannot be easily manipulated. Classic examples include gold, silver, other metals and minerals, and real estate. Another tangible asset that is likely to continue to grow in importance in this 21st century is energy.

    Arbitrage Opportunities Through Accepting The Subsidy

    Our fourth conclusion is that if someone offers to pay you so you will use their money – you should accept. If the Fed is bailing out Wall Street, and the direct bailout is not on the asset side – but the liability side – then the most rational strategy to pursue is to play the liability side for yourself.

    But that doesn’t mean you play the same game as Wall Street. There is an alternative, and that is to use the gift that the Federal Reserve is offering to you, but with a different goal. Yes, you still want to be paid to borrow money, and yes, you want tax advantages. However, instead of increasing your risk through Wall Street type leverage, you want to decrease your overall portfolio and lifestyle risk, while still increasing your after-inflation and after-tax rate of return.

    Anchor your assets in the hard reality of tangible assets, and then carefully construct an asset/liability hedge that will not increase your risks – but will decrease the risk to your real net worth in an uncertain future. Use a strategy that is designed to profit from inflation, and create inflation tax shelters instead of paying inflation taxes. Build a skew into your strategy so your upside is much larger than your downside.

    Put all of this together and you do have the opportunity to take this current manipulation of the money supply, and use it to create an extraordinarily profitable personal arbitrage strategy. Assuming, that is, you have the knowledge to put that strategy together. Which means that learning more about how these factors all work together is the first and most important step in taking your personal arbitrage strategy from theory to applied reality.

  108. Interesting, with a iminent recession looming, not EVERYONE is laying people off..........course this type of hiring is a ominous sign!

  109. FDIC Bracing For Bank Failures

    From the WSJ: FDIC Readies for a Rise in Bank Failures (hat tip Peter)

    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is taking steps to brace for an increase in failed financial institutions as the nation's housing and credit markets continue to worsen.

    FDIC spokesman Andrew Gray said the agency was looking to bulk up "for preparedness purposes." ...

    The agency, which insures accounts at more than 8,000 financial institutions, is also seeking to hire an outside firm that would help manage mortgages and other assets at insolvent banks, according to a newspaper advertisement.
    "Regulators are bracing for well over 100 bank failures in the next 12 to 24 months, with concentrations in Rust Belt states like Michigan and Ohio, and the states that are suffering severe housing-market problems like California, Florida, and Georgia," said Jaret Seiberg, Washington policy analyst for financial-services firm Stanford Group.
    Frequent contributor FFIDC has mentioned these hiring efforts for months in the comments. I expect quite a few bank failures over the next couple of years, mostly due to bad Construction & Development (C&D) and Commercial Real Estate (CRE) loans.

    Look at the concentration of C&D loans in late 2006 (from the FDIC Semiannual Report: Economic Conditions and Emerging Risks in Banking):
    Small and mid-size institutions have been increasing their concentrations in riskier assets, such as CRE loans and construction and development (C&D) loans. This suggests that, although small and mid-size institutions have been more successful in limiting the erosion of their nominal NIMs, they have achieved this success in part by assuming higher levels of credit risk.

    ... continued increases in concentrations and reports of loosened underwriting standards at FDIC-insured institutions signal the potential for future credit quality deterioration. In addition, regulators have noted increasing C&D and overall CRE loan
    concentrations, especially at institutions with total assets between $1 billion and $10 billion. Four of six Regional Risk Committees expressed some level of concern about CRE lending, in part due to continuing increases in concentrations.
    And that was in late 2006; C&D and CRE lending really went crazy in 2007.

  110. They Took Your Seat

    By John Kerry

    On Monday this week, at Harvard, the FCC held a meeting on Comcast and Net Neutrality, a chance for the public to air its views over the issues.

    Turns out a not so funny little thing happened on the way to the forum: Comcast tried to pack the meeting, going so far as paying people to come in and take up the spaces that could have been filled by concerned members of the public.

    How big are the stakes in the so-called network neutrality debate now raging before Congress and federal regulators?

    Consider this: One side in the debate actually went to the trouble of hiring people off the street to pack a Federal Communications Commission meeting yesterday--and effectively keep some of its opponents out of the room.

    Broadband giant Comcast--the subject of the F.C.C. hearing on network neutrality at the Harvard Law School, in Cambridge, Massachusetts--acknowledged that it did exactly that.

    Trying to lock out the public is a great example of why we need net neutrality. If the other side will use their money to restrict public access to a public meeting, how can we feel confident they won't use their power to restrict voices in the virtual world?

    And the company's response to the revelation doesn't exactly assuage that worry:

    A number of people in the audience wore yellow highlighter marking pens on their shirts or jackets; Karr said that was to identify them to Comcast employees coordinating the company's appearance at the event. Khoury acknowledged that Comcast coordinated the employees that it brought to the hearing.

    "For the past week, Free Press has engaged in a much more extensive campaign to lobby people to attend the hearing on its behalf," Khoury said.

    The official response from this industry giant is to say that paying people to pack a hearing is simply a tit-for-tat response to the efforts of a grassroots organization of activists trying to make their voices heard. This is an outlook where money can overwhelm public participation, and where speech is a commodity not a sacred right of democracy.

    The commercial success of the Internet, the entrepreneurship it has unleashed, has been because of its free and open architecture. The explosion of innovation that created boosted our national productivity and added untold billions to our national economy. To try to restrict the Internet would hamper the innovation still to come.

    But even more important is the potential of the freedom on the Internet to transform our civic conversation - an effort we're watching right before our eyes. It's not a coincidence that has been the vehicle for millions to organize around the campaign of a firm supporter of net neutrality and the benefits of free and open information exchange. Freedom on the Internet is a core value for progressives, and it holds the potential for enormous advances in empowering citizens to take control of the political destiny of our country. Efforts like this by Comcast simply put in stark relief the importance of the fight for those values.

    I'll be watching closely the future actions of these large companies around these hearings, and I'll continue to fight for more broadband access to an open, information-neutral Internet.

  111. Good Morning Lydia and All! ;)

    So, McCain called himself a "Liberal Republican" yesterday...

    gotta love it!


    Have a great day everyone!

  112. an average patriot said...
    That idiot is brain dead. He's an ass hole. He was saying we need more refineries. No shit demand they be built. I know Dems want to stop the $Billions in tax breaks and I agree but they will then make us pay more.
    Bush warmongering, bully Politics to those with oil, and his wars are the biggest problem. Whan he got into office oil was $28 per barrel. it was $102 today. Wait till it hits $5 per gallon at the pump.
    I have discussed it numerous times so I won't now but it will and it's planned on. Then the real plan can kick in according to T. Boone Pickens."

    Yeah, oil was Patriot, 2 years before Bush came to power oil was around $10 a barrel now it has gone up 10 fold and is OVER a hundred a barrel.........we cant afford to elect another repug and have oil at $1000 a barrel in 10 years............No pun intended but the word Conservative is an oxymoron since Conservation is incomprehensible foreign concept to these ignorant brutes.

    Its Clear the progressives are the ONLY party that will develop and promote renewable Green Technologies and work to diversify us away from our dangerous dependence on imported oil.

  113. Did anyone watch Larry King........i really like Stephanie Miller...........her message that America is sick and tired of the fear mongering to scare up votes, is DEAD ON!

    The Fear Mongering was what turned me against Hillary Clinton MORE than anything I expected the repugs to resort to that but i thought the Democrats were better than that...........fear mongering to scare up votes and lying and falsely smearing your opponent is the lowest most despicable form of politics and i will NEVER support a candidate who uses those slimy nazi like tactics to deceive the simple minded.

    People dont think clearly when ruled by fear and are much more susceptible to lies, deceptions and manipulations by political hacks like Karl Rove and Mark Penn!

  114. We need courage and hope not fear mongering and war mongering!

  115. Why does Matt Drudge HATE the British soldiers serving with Prince harry in Afghanistan?

    Prince's cover in Afghanistan blown by Drudge Report

    An American website, the Drudge Report, broke a news blackout yesterday by revealing that Prince Harry has been serving in Afghanistan for more than two months.

    To the fury of the Ministry of Defence and condemnation from the head of the British Army, General Sir Richard Dannatt, the website announced a "world exclusive" and proclaimed: "They're calling him 'Harry the Hero!".

    The article brought to an end an agreement with the media that the Prince's deployment to Helmand be kept quiet in the interests of his safety and that of the soldiers with him.

    The decision to send Prince Harry, 23, to Afghanistan under a cloak of secrecy came after the furore that followed the revelation of his proposed deployment to Iraq. Much to the Prince's frustration, General Dannatt announced in May last year that it would be too risky, fearing the Prince and his comrades in the Household Cavalry would become top priority targets for insurgents.

    Maybe he is just trying to become the new Geraldo Rivera, Another controversy arose in early 2003, while Rivera was embedded with U.S. military personnel in Iraq. During a Fox News broadcast, Rivera began to disclose an upcoming operation, even going so far as to draw a map in the sand for his audience. The military immediately issued a firm denouncement of his actions, saying it put the operation at risk, and nearly expelled Rivera from Iraq. Two days later, he announced that he would be reporting on the Iraq conflict from Kuwait. from wiki) and get himself a sweet gig on faux lies, he is just about as reliable.

  116. Democrats and anti-war activists have made John McCain's hawkish views on Iraq and Iran one of the most prominent arguments against his presidential candidacy. has launched a new ad against the Republican candidate featuring a female Iraq vet and her baby, suggesting that McCain will spend on endless war instead of on the things Americans really need. Meanwhile, anti-war group True Majority is planning a campaign targeting McCain's musings about bombing Iran. The group will unveil its IranMobile at a rally in Ohio this weekend.

    Brave New Films has released a new video parodying McCain's botched attempt at a joke during a campaign appearance last year. The GOP candidate changed lyrics of a famous Beach Boy's song to "Bomb Iran."

    "What is troubling is that John McCain's attitude toward this conflict is eerily similar to talk that began before the war in Iraq. Weapons of Mass Destruction seem to be replaced with nuclear threats that have been unsubstantiated," Brian Rothenberg, of which is co-sponsoring the effort, said in a news release. "The invasion of Iraq opened the floodgates for Al Qaeda and what Sen. McCain says will be 100-years of American soldiers in a foreign land."

    The Associated Press criticized Democrats for taking McCain's "100 years" comment out of context.

    Jon Soltz, a co-founder of VoteVets, and conservative writer Ericka Anderson of appeared on MSNBC to debate the claims in the ad.

    "We all respect John McCain's service in Vietnam," Soltz began. "But he's not in touch with what Americans want. ... We have a right to ask him for some straight talk. ... He can't do everything he says. Cut taxes for the richest people in America. Keep us in Iraq in an endless war."

    Anderson retorted that the ad campaign "goes back to the guns vs. butter argument, and it's just an illogical argument, because Iraq isn't a war we can walk away from and expect it not to follow us home."

    "Osama bin Laden is in Afghanistan," Soltz said in response. "There was no al Qaeda in Iraq when we invaded. ... John McCain wants to keep 90% of our army in a civil war."

    "The people in our organization have been to Iraq," Soltz continued. "We've seen it first hand. We don't need Republican talking points."

    "You aren't the only people that have been in Iraq!" Anderson shot back.

    "For some reason, the Republican Party and the conservatives in this country lost their way," Soltz replied. "It's like you don't care about the people that attacked our country!"

    Poor McCain: He just can't get the Veterans to crave war like he does.

  117. I agree, Obama can respond to McCain's slurs and I think he can stand up to the Swift Boaters too. Great post.

  118. It appears "Helicopter" Ben Bernanke is nothing more than a delusional ideologue and Bush shill.............On the front page of our local paper I found four articles talking about the record inflation (in fact the Higest in 26 Years) as well as the looming recession and that stagflation is back and in the midst of numerous artcles discussing the record inflation and virtually noexistant growth is a quote from Ben Bernake stating he strogly believes strong growth will resume and we will have price stability........behold the repug's slimy way of lying he purposely didnt quantify this pie in the sky prediction so if he is wrong this year he can say he meant that for 5 years, 10 years or 20 years down the road not the current time period.

  119. In the midst of the worst inflation in decades and the worst recessionary and economic conditions in decades Bernanke is shouting strong growth and low inflation............kinda reminds you of how the crew on the Titantic were boasting how the ship was unsinkable right before it hit an iceberg and sank.

  120. Thanks for the Hat Tip, Mike.

  121. Mike, for the Bush/GOP Reich, the economy is great. The top 5% has insider knowledge and knows when to sell short, so they continue to rake in money all the way down the tubes.

  122. I have been busy so I haven't been able to get around. Obama most definitely can beat McCain and he is smart enough to beat them at their own game. He will take care of his end.
    I am concerned about assassination and after talking to one of my sons who does bomb clearance and security for the Democratic nominees I am more concerned than ever since they expect it!
    Lucky for Jim he's on his way to Iraq, geesh!

  123. an average patriot said...
    I have been busy so I haven't been able to get around. Obama most definitely can beat McCain and he is smart enough to beat them at their own game. He will take care of his end.
    I am concerned about assassination and after talking to one of my sons who does bomb clearance and security for the Democratic nominees I am more concerned than ever since they expect it!
    Lucky for Jim he's on his way to Iraq, geesh!"

    I've thought the same thing Patriot, Obama reminds me of MLK and JFK and people like that scare the crap out of the Reich Wing Fascists, and the corporate robber barrons and military industrial complex and i'm worried that he could be an assassination target as well.........however i think after he wins the nomination he will tighten security Obama is smart i think his anti fear strategy and his reducing security so as to not limit the number attending his rallies is specific to defeating Clinton, i think his general election strategy when taking on the repugs will involve tighter security.

  124. TomCat said...
    Mike, for the Bush/GOP Reich, the economy is great. The top 5% has insider knowledge and knows when to sell short, so they continue to rake in money all the way down the tubes."

    Your right Tomcat, Clif has said the same thing.............i view the Bush Presidency as the worst of the Hoover and Nixon presidency with a treasonous war of lies and assault on the Constitution and personal freedom and privacy thrown in............and like the Great Depression and Hoover presidency it will ignite a NEW Progressive movement and a New FDR like New Deal where the Progressives seize power for decades and the repugs are shut out from the reigns of power for decades just as they were from the 1930's on.................the Conservative Revolution is dead and the Progressive Revolution is just getting started and you will see that more and more as Green Industries and cleaner renewable power are pushed more and more, and you see more and more Progressive programming both on radio and TV as well as hopefully some of the media empires and monoplolies being broken up..........hopefully the regulators will start regulating and protecting citizens and consumers again once the corporate cronnies and political hacks are replaced with real people of integrity and character, right now its like the fox guarding the chicken coup, we have Bush idealogues and corporate cronnies looking out for the wealthy elite and their business cronnies at the expense of American citizens and the consumers.

  125. BTW Lydia, have you read Paul Krugman's new book........"Conscience of A Liberal" if you havent you need to.

    You should have Krugman and Scott Ritter on the Radio Show again.........Krugman could talk about his book and destructive conservative policies and Ritter could add weight to Obama's good judgement regarding foreign policy and National Security and McCain's lack thereof!

  126. Is John McCain a Liar?

    One of the pressing questions for American voters as they look toward the formal nomination of McCain as the Republican presidential candidate is whether he is a phony who’s long been protected by his gilded reputation or whether he suffers from severe – or at least convenient – memory loss

    By Robert Parry.

    In journalism, it’s a safe bet that if you write a story with the suggestion that a prominent male politician is bedding an attractive female lobbyist, whatever other point you hoped to make will be overlooked.

    That appears to have been the case with the New York Times article on Feb. 21, which led with suspicions held by some McCain staffers that the Arizona senator had gotten too cozy with lobbyist Vicky Iseman. The Times story then veered off into a historical examination of McCain’s over-confidence about his own moral rectitude.

    Yet, despite the Times’ best efforts to explore this complicated history of McCain as both ethics sinner and ethics reformer, the public and pundits never got much past the sex angle, an insinuation that McCain, 71, and Iseman, 40, both adamantly denied.

    Thus, McCain succeeded in deflecting the story’s more significant question: Is McCain’s reputation as a straight-talking politician a sham?

    Put differently, is the presumptive Republican presidential nominee – like Colin Powell – a media darling whose reputation for honesty is largely undeserved? The question is not an insignificant one.

    In 2003, Secretary of State Powell exploited his sterling image to help mislead the nation into the Iraq War. [For details on Powell, see our book Neck Deep.] Now, McCain hopes his “straight-talk-express” appeal will help keep US troops in Iraq indefinitely.

    So, there’s urgency for Americans to know whether John McCain is a sanctimonious phony and a self-assured liar, who’s just masquerading as the guy who tells it like it is and disdains the self-serving ways of Washington.

    Evidence of Lies

    Though no new evidence has surfaced about McCain and Iseman as a romantic item, McCain’s blanket denial about assisting Iseman and other lobbyists is fast disintegrating.

    As we noted in an article on Feb. 21, McCain’s assertion in response to the Times article -- that during his quarter-century congressional career, he “has never violated the public trust, never done favors for special interests or lobbyists” -- just isn’t true.

    For instance, the Times story recalled how McCain helped one of his early financial backers, wheeler-dealer Charles Keating, frustrate oversight from federal banking regulators who were examining Keating’s Lincoln Savings and Loan Association.

    At Keating's urging, McCain wrote letters, introduced bills and pushed a Keating associate for a job on a banking regulatory board. In 1987, McCain joined several other senators in two private meetings with federal banking regulators on Keating’s behalf.

    Two years later, Lincoln collapsed, costing the US taxpayers $3.4 billion. Keating eventually went to prison and three other senators from the so-called Keating Five saw their political careers ruined.

    McCain drew a Senate reprimand for his involvement and later lamented his faulty judgment. “Why didn’t I fully grasp the unusual appearance of such a meeting?” he wrote in his 2002 memoir, Worth the Fighting For.

    But some people close to the case thought McCain got off too easy.

    Not only was McCain taking donations from Keating and his business circle, getting free rides on Keating’s corporate jet and enjoying joint vacations in the Bahamas – McCain’s second wife, the beer fortune heiress Cindy Hensley, had invested with Keating in an Arizona shopping mall.

    In the years that followed, however, McCain not only got out from under the shadow of the Keating Five scandal but found a silver lining in the cloud, transforming the case into a lessons-learned chapter of his personal narrative.

    McCain, as born-again reformer, soon was winning over the Washington press corps with his sponsorship of ethics legislation, like the McCain-Feingold bill limiting “soft money” contributions to the political parties.

    However, there was still the other side of John McCain as he wielded enormous power from his position as chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, which helped him solicit campaign donations from corporations doing business before the panel.

    Pressure on the FCC

    The Times story suggested that McCain did favors on behalf of Iseman’s lobbying clients, including two letters that McCain wrote in 1999 to the Federal Communications Commission demanding that it act on a long-delayed request by Iseman’s client, Florida-based Paxson Communications, to buy a Pittsburgh television station.

    In the furious counter-offensive against the Times article, McCain’s campaign issued a point-by-point denial, calling those letters routine correspondence that were handled by staff without McCain meeting either with Paxson or anyone from Iseman’s firm, Alcalde & Fay.

    "No representative of Paxson or Alcalde & Fay personally asked Senator McCain to send a letter to the FCC," his campaign said.

    But that turned out not to be true. Newsweek’s investigative reporter Michael Isikoff dug up a sworn deposition from Sept. 25, 2002, in which McCain himself declared that “I was contacted by Mr. Paxson on this issue. … He wanted their [the FCC’s] approval very bad for purposes of his business. I believe that Mr. Paxson had a legitimate complaint.”

    Though McCain claimed not to recall whether he had spoken with Paxson’s lobbyist [presumably a reference to Iseman], he added, “I’m sure I spoke to [Paxson],” according to the deposition. [See Newsweek’s Web posting, Feb. 22, 2008]

    McCain’s letters to the FCC, which Chairman William Kennard criticized as “highly unusual,” came in the same period when Paxson’s company was ferrying McCain to political events aboard its corporate jet and donating $20,000 to his campaign.

    After the Feb. 21 Times article appeared, McCain’s spokesmen confirmed that Iseman accompanied McCain on at least one of those flights from Florida to Washington, though McCain said in the 2002 deposition that “I do not recall” if Paxson’s lobbyist was onboard.

    First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams, who conducted the deposition in connection with a challenge to the McCain-Feingold law, asked McCain if the benefits that he received from Paxson created “at least an appearance of corruption here?”

    “Absolutely,” McCain answered. “I believe that there could possibly be an appearance of corruption because this system has tainted all of us.”

    Sticking to the Story

    When Newsweek went to McCain’s 2008 campaign with the seeming contradictions between the deposition and the denial of the Times article, McCain’s people stuck to their story that that the senator had never discussed the FCC issue with Paxson or his lobbyist.

    “We do not think there is a contradiction here,” campaign spokeswoman Ann Begeman told Newsweek. “It appears that Senator McCain, when speaking of being contacted by Paxson, was speaking in shorthand of his staff being contacted by representatives of Paxson. Senator McCain does not recall being asked directly by Paxson or any representative of him or by Alcalde & Fay to contact the FCC regarding the Pittsburgh license transaction.”

    That new denial, however, soon crumbled when the Washington Post interviewed Paxson, who said he had talked with McCain in his Washington office several weeks before McCain sent the letters to the FCC.

    The broadcast executive also believed that Iseman had helped arrange the meeting and likely was in attendance. “Was Vicki there? Probably,” Paxson said. [Washington Post, Feb. 23, 2008]

    A day earlier, the Post also noted the discrepancy between a central tenet of McCain’s campaign – his denunciation of lobbyists and the corrupt revolving-door ways of Washington – and his reliance on lobbyists for his congressional work and his campaign.

    “When McCain huddled with his closest advisers at his rustic Arizona cabin last weekend to map out his presidential campaign, virtually every one was part of the Washington lobbying culture he has long decried,” the Post reported on Feb. 22.

    In its article about McCain and Iseman, the New York Times also noted that in 2001, McCain helped found a non-profit organization called the Reform Institute supposedly to advance McCain’s signature cause of political ethics.

    But the institute drew much of its funding from companies trying to ingratiate themselves with McCain and his Commerce Committee. Though denying any impropriety, McCain severed his ties to the Reform Institute in 2005 because of the “bad publicity.”

    So, one of the pressing questions for American voters as they look toward the formal nomination of McCain as the Republican presidential candidate is whether he is a phony who’s long been protected by his gilded reputation or whether he suffers from severe – or at least convenient – memory loss.

    McCain also may have learned some tricks from watching his former rival, George W. Bush, whose tendency to lie grew increasingly brazen after 9/11.

    As Commander in Chief for a nation at war, Bush brushed aside questions about his statements not squaring with the facts: From his insistence that waterboarding is not torture to Saddam Hussein not letting the UN inspectors in. [See, for instance,’s “Bush’s Favorite Lie.”]

    Since McCain as Commander in Chief would ensure that the United States remains at war for the foreseeable future, he might expect a Bush-like pass when his words diverge almost 180 degrees from the facts. Endless war will justify endless lies.

    John McCain: Lying His Way To Power And War.

  127. The coming election campaign is sure to bring Klanservativism out in all of its naked ugliness. This election WILL BE between the white-sheer set (both overt and hidden) and the rest of us. Let us hope that America at last shakes off the shcakles of Klanservative Republiklan ignorance.

  128. Please click on the blog page, down on the right side -- "Vote for Best Women's Blog"

    Thank you!!

  129. Mauigirl, Suzi-Q, Jolly Roger, Tomcat, Mike, Larry, Clif and Bart -- THANK you for the great, insightful comments.


  130. They USED to laugh at Howard Dean;

    The Dean legacy

    by kos

    With a new party head soon to be nominated, Howard Dean's days at the head of the DNC are likely numbered. It's not a bad thing -- presidential candidates and Democratic presidents get to run the committee for obvious (and logical) reasons. And Dean will soon have a full four-year term under his belt. I'm sure he's desperate for a change of scenery. It's not the most relaxing job in the world.

    But it does give us a reason to reflect on Dean's tenure in charge of the party. The first in what will likely be a parade of such pieces is a great piece by the Nation's Ari Berman.

    A few months earlier, The New Republic had reported that Clinton's camp was "laying the groundwork to circumvent the DNC in the event that Clinton wins the nomination." This shadow DNC had a number of integral parts: adviser Harold Ickes would develop state-of-the-art technology to help Clinton reach prospective voters; EMILY's List and Clinton's allies in organized labor would launch an unprecedented effort to turn out supporters, especially women voters; former DNC chair Terry McAuliffe would raise untold sums from wealthy donors and the business community; and communications honcho Howard Wolfson would direct an unrelenting war room. Ever since 1992 the Clintons had used the DNC as an outpost for raising money from big donors, and funding candidates had taken precedence over nurturing progressive organizers. That model would continue into '08. Dean could remain at the DNC as a figurehead but only if he stayed in line.

    And then the effort to marginalize Dean collapsed. Partly it's because the party's Congressional takeover--and a subsequent study by Harvard's Elaine Kamarck documenting Dean's contributions toward that end--eventually silenced the Carville-ites. Partly it's because Barack Obama forced the Clintons to devote all their resources to fending off his insurgent candidacy. But another reason the DNC-in-exile never got off the ground was Dean himself. Dean is no longer a marginalized figure, the butt of "Dean scream" jokes, but a man with a powerful constituency in regions where his fifty-state strategy has energized aging, ailing or previously nonexistent state parties. His support to these parties has not only strengthened them but has created an independent power base for Dean himself.

    It's amazing that when Jerome and I wrote Crashing the Gate, with its uncompromising promotion of the 50-state strategy, the notion was still considered incredibly controversial. Now, it's accepted CW in most quarters.

    What's not amazing is that Jerome and I always knew that this was inevitable. We saw the party elite (dominated by the Clintonistas) in DC hoarding their power, sure, but we also saw that the masses outside the Beltway were far bigger, and collectively wielded far more power than the Ickes and the Podestas. Sure, they could raise a buttload of money and get their new organizations funded (and there's some good ones in that mix, like the Center for American Progress and MediaMatters), but their efforts to dominate and control the party machinery were doomed from the start. The people-powered movement would swamp them out.

    So Dean became our surrogate and we propelled him to a dramatic victory as chair of the party. Sure, establishment Dems wailed and threatened and tried unsuccessfully to find an establishment-approved alternative to Dean. The equivalent today would be Mike Huckabee taking over the RNC after this election. Could you imagine the war inside the GOP if that were to become a possibility? That was us, in late 2004 and early 2005.

    And sure, Republicans chortled:

    Brian Nick, spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, offered insight into how the GOP plans to make use of Dean.

    "You have Barbara Boxer, Ted Kennedy and now Howard Dean coming to the forefront as spokespeople for their party," Nick said, referring to two of the most liberal Democratic senators. "You can’t get much more far left than that."

    Carl Forti, Nick’s counterpart at the National Republican Congressional Committee, added: "I can think of nothing better for the long-term prosperity of the Republican Party than to have the Deaniacs come to Washington."

    Those of us outside that DC cesspool knew better and we have been obviously proven right in the subsequent years. It's amazing how responsive the nation gets when you reorient your efforts beyond a few special states and decide that the whole country -- and the grassroots in each state -- actually matters.

    But what's surprising to me is that in this day and age, the Clinton people are still so wedded to the early 90s that they continue to misread the political landscape -- a mistake the Obama camp has exploited to full advantage.

    Hillary's candidacy represents the polar opposite of what Dean built as a candidate and party chair: her campaign is dominated by an inner circle of top strategists, with little room for grassroots input; it hasn't adapted well to new Internet tools like Facebook and MySpace; it tends to raise big contributions from a small group of high rollers rather than from large numbers of small donors; and it is less inclined to expand the base of the party [...]

    In contrast to Clinton's campaign, Obama's--with its hundreds of thousands of small donors, Internet buzz and red-state appeal--reflects to a great extent the realization of Dean's ideals. Dean's argument for how to rebuild and expand the party base for the long term found its perfect short-term exponent in Obama, whose appeal to independents and liberal Republicans and talk of "unity" is planting Democratic roots in unfamiliar places. "The Obama for President campaign is what all of us hoped Dean for President would become," says Steve McMahon, a former top Dean strategist who's stayed neutral in '08. "Obama is Dean 2.0, dramatically updated to reflect the emergence of the grassroots."

    As I've noted before, Steve McMahon is the biggest a**hole I've ever met on our side of the political aisle, but his quote here is pretty solid. And this more so:

    Besides a desire to push the party away from a strictly swing-state mentality, Dean and Obama share a commitment to the nuts-and-bolts of grassroots organizing. On the stump Obama is quick to stress his roots as a community organizer and always thanks his precinct captains, who routinely introduce him at campaign events. "Change doesn't happen from the top down. It happens from the bottom up," he now says in his stump speech. Obama's organizing has been greatly enhanced by new technologies like YouTube, Facebook and MySpace (Friendster had just arrived when Dean was running). "We pioneered it and Obama perfected it," Trippi says. Obama embraced elements of the new politics, hiring the co-founder of Facebook, for example; but other efforts came from the grassroots--just as with the Dean campaign--as supporters organized themselves online and on the ground. The net effect is Obama's large base of small donors, who are enthusiastic supporters he can tap again and again. Ninety percent of the $28 million he raised online in January, for example, came in donations of $100 or less. Obama has fused a tightknit group of advisers with a mass of ordinary people, creating what Trippi calls "command and control at the top while empowering the bottom to make a difference."

    Of course there's been nothing like that from the Clinton side. Their "insult 40 states" strategy further communicated to the nation at large that unless you were a big Blue state, you didn't matter to Hillary. It was only recently that her campaign fully engaged her supporters online, and they have responded with a $35 million February fundraising drive, the bulk of it from small online donations. Ironic that such a number could be considered too little, too late, but it was.

    But aside from the presidentials, we were all treated to the spectacle of Rahm Emanuel publicly railing against Dean for spending money in his 50-state strategy last cycle instead of concentrating resources on a few swing states (Schumer complained as well, but at least had the class to do so privately).

    Yet let's see where our best pickup opportunities are this year. In the House and Senate, we are looking at competitive Democratic races in "Red" states Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and Wyoming. Competitive races are likely to break out in at least some blood red states like Idaho, Kentucky, and Nebraska. And that doesn't include protecting our incumbents in tough places like Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana and Utah. And sure, while Missouri and New Mexico are traditional swing states that would get plenty of attention regardless, the rest have a tradition of being ignored by Democrats. Thanks to Dean and the 50-state strategy, that is no longer the case.

    As the Republican Party becomes increasingly a regional party, locked out of entire swaths of the nation, the Democrats are headed in the opposite direction. We have a likely nominee that has a demonstrated commitment to furthering the pioneering work by Howard Dean in 2004 and beyond.

    There was a battle over the soul of this party -- between those who would hoard power in DC, and those who would spread it around the entire country, empowering individuals to work toward a progressive national majority.

    The good guys won, in no small part because of Dean.


    Thank You Howard Dean!!!!,

    For November 7th 2006,

    For Sen Webb instead of Sen Macaca,

    For Sen Testor instead of Sen Burns,

    For Sen Brown instead of Sen Dewine,

    For Sen McCaskill instead of Sen Talent,

    For Sen Whitehouse instead of Sen Chafee,

    But sweetest of all,

    Sen Casey instead of Sen Sanitarium;

    For 233 house members,

    and six new blue governorships

    For the howls of the right that night,

    For undoing 1994,

    For doing what the repugs LIE and say they do .... demanding that the party go to ALL the people, listen to them and try to get them involved,

    For fighting the ignorance of the right EVERYWHERE,

    For providing a path to the future,

    But especially for showing it could be done,

    For setting up a political program which Obama has followed to defeat the Clintonistas and the DNC repug-lite money machine.

    Thank you Howard Dean.


    So the democratic party goes back to being the party of the people and the reichwingers go back to being the party of the corporate greed, special interests and big money players, who are willing to lie cheat and even steal elections just to set themselves up as the controllers of government spending to further enrich their criminal cohorts.

    Hope that southern state strategy don't choke your chances in the future boys, but don't bet on it.

    reichwingers always going for the short term gain with NO long term plan;

    In Politics, spending, budgets, international strategy, economics, just about everything.

  131. This should be very interesting;

    In It To Win It

    Hillary to appear on The Daily Show on primary eve, March 3rd.

    --Josh Marshall

  132. A commission that should cause concern

    By Donald Downs

    Washington commissions typically elicit little more than a yawn. Their numerous unread reports gather dust on shelves all over the city, from Foggy Bottom to Capitol Hill. So why should we be concerned about legislation, approved by the U.S. House of Representatives in October and now pending in the Senate, to establish a bipartisan "National Commission on the Prevention of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism"? Don't we want to prevent these things?

    Yes, we do. But we also want to prevent the government from engaging in ideological witch hunts or violating civil liberties, simply on the basis of what people believe.

    Under the First Amendment, people enjoy the right to hold extreme beliefs so long as those beliefs are not used to incite unlawful action, or are not demonstrably connected to illegal or harmful action. Unfortunately, the language in the legislation establishing the new commission could jeopardize this right.

    The bill defines "violent radicalization" as "the process of adopting or promoting an extremist belief system for the purpose of facilitating ideologically based violence to advance political, religious, or social change." "Homegrown terrorism" is defined as "the use, planned use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group" in the United States "to intimidate or coerce" the government or civilians to achieve the group's objectives.

    The commission would focus on research and data analysis and would have no explicit law enforcement or subpoena power. The commission's tasks would include information gathering, coordinating and facilitating research, and analysis of data and information gathered by local, state, national and foreign governments, nongovernment organizations and academic sources. The bill also calls for establishing a university-based "Center of Excellence" for the study of such threats.

    The jihadist terrorism we confront is indeed ideologically based, so better understanding the links between ideology and terrorist acts is a legitimate and important government activity. So why should we be concerned that the legislation threatens civil liberties?

    First, because the commission's mandate is not totally clear. While the pending Senate bill (S.1959) would seem to describe the commission's mission with considerable care, it also seemingly gives the proposed commission a blank check to pursue "other purposes." What other purposes? This is an invitation to mischief.

    The legislation also provides that commission activities "should not violate the constitutional rights, civil rights, or civil liberties" of citizens and lawful permanent residents. This too should raise a cautionary flag: The bill says the commission "should not" violate civil liberties, rather than use a more definitive prohibition — such as "shall not."

    Besides, the bill leaves out important details about the commission and its duties. How will the commission's findings be used? Will groups that hold extremist beliefs and use scary rhetoric find themselves subject to undue scrutiny and pressure, even if they pose no meaningful threat? Will the commission find itself in the business of "naming names" without proper provisions for due process and basic fairness? S.1959 and its House companion are silent about such matters.

    In addition, the bill's definitions of terrorism and radical violence — like similar definitions in the USA Patriot Act — are broad. They are not limited to al Qaeda-like violence that poses an existential danger to the United States. As presently defined, the commission's mandate also could include such groups as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), violent anti-abortion coalitions and similar groups. Though such groups pose legitimate law enforcement concerns, they do not constitute a national security threat that justifies extraordinary measures.

    Is such a commission even necessary?

    Another secret bill the Bushy's are slipping in to stifle your freedoms.

  133. Remember i wrote an article on who is smarter and more credible Warren Buffet the 2nd wealthiest man in the world and one of the most successful business people and investors of all time or GWB a dunce of a ,man who has failed at essentially everything he has ever done and been dead wrong on just about everything.

    GWB sats we are NOT in a recession, that the economy is robust and the fundamentals strong and Warren Buffet says we ARE in a recession..........i tend to beliebe Buffet and the vast majority of our citizens over the dunce in chief who has been dead wrong on essential EVERYTHING!

  134. Buffett Says US Essentially in Recession

    Posted: 2008-03-03 11:27:21
    Filed Under: Recession Watch
    OMAHA, Neb. (March 3) - Billionaire Warren Buffett said Monday that the U.S. economy is essentially in a recession even if it hasn't met the technical definition of one yet.

    Getty Images

    Buffett said in an interview with cable network CNBC the reports he gets from the retail businesses his holding company owns show a significant slowdown in purchases.

    The chairman and CEO of Omaha-based Berkshire Hathaway Inc. said millions of people have also lost equity in their homes because home prices have dropped.

    "I would say, by any commonsense definition, we are in a recession," Buffett said on CNBC.

    But Buffett said it's not clear how far the recession will go because that is difficult to predict.

    The technical definition of a recession most economists use is two consecutive quarters of negative growth in the nation's gross domestic product.

    On Thursday, the Commerce Department reported that the gross domestic product increased at a low 0.6 percent pace in the quarter that ended Dec. 31.

    In the July-September quarter, the economy grew at a brisk 4.9 percent.

    Gross domestic product measures the value of all goods and services produced in the United States and is the best barometer of the country's economic health.

    A survey released last week by the National Association for Business Economics showed that 45 percent of economists are predicting a recession in 2008.

  135. Poll Results
    Do you agree with Warren Buffett's comments that we are in recession?

    84% 27,424

    10% 3,286

    I'm not sure
    6% 1,847

    Note on Poll Results
    Total Votes: 32,557

    Poll results

  136. Once again 84% of the country thinks we are in recession but Bush says we are not.

    Inflation is the highest in 26 years while growth is also essentially nonexistant and Bernanke says we will return to strong growth and price these clowns think we're really that stu[id or arer they the ones that are REALLT that stupid?

  137. I feel like the earth has tilted on its axis and i'm living in the Twilight zone or something..........Larry Krudlow and Glen Beck are actually starting to make sense at times........Krudlow was saying inflation is a problem, the weak dollar is a problem, we could be heading for recession and the Federal Reserve aka Bernanke has NO CREDIBILITY and should stop cutting rates and focus on inflation and the dollar.

    Then to top it off we have Volt rooting for Hillary Clinton and FF rooting for Obama for president.

  138. Mike those two losers are saying they want Hillary or Obama because they think either will screw up and then the CON-servatives will get another chance to screw over the American people again.

    They don't really want either, but the repugs they BACKED until after the 2006 election bitch-slapping Bush et al took, were just so crooked they can't find any body better the McCain to front for them this time.

    Two of their poster boys Sen Macaca and Sen Sanitarium, got handed their a$$es and walking papers in 2006 and the stand ins didn't fit the lies the repugs have told the last couple of decades.... Add to that the rats are jumping ship this year like none other.

    28-29 repugs are cutting and running from congress, with quite a few either under investigation, or they know they won't win this fall.

    (Two more admin cons had to quit, one for plagiarizing most of what he wrote, the other for saying reading the bible was MORE important then doing his freakin' job, at the VA helping wounded vets from the illegal war bush ET Al started.)

    Let them screech and howl at that echo chamber, it fits them and the depth of their intellectual capabilities.

    Same old empty rhetoric and false generalizations backed up with lost of false bravado and bluster.

    Too bad they have little else to spin now a days, after the record piled up by George W Bush, Richard Cheney, Mark Foley, Bob Livingston, Larry Craig, David Vitter, Jack Abramoff, Bob Ney, Duke Cunningham, Condi Rice, Douglas Feith, Donald Rumsfeld, Steven Cambone, Newt, Italia Federici, Tom DeLay, Rick Santaurum, Ralph Reed, Grover Norquist, Ted Haggard, David Safavian, Karl rove, Alberto Gonzolas, "Brownie", Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, Irving (scooter) Libby, Scott McClellan, Ari Fleicher, George (macaca) Allen, Paul Wolfowitz, Bernie Keric, Claude Allen, Harriet Meirs, Lurita Doan, Kyle Foggo, Howard Krongard, Richard Perle, Susan Ralston, Kenneth Tomlinson, Executive Order 13233, State Secrets Privilege, Free speech zones, EPA 9/11 pollution controversy, K street project, Misrepresentation of cause of death of Pat Tillman, Bush White House e-mail controversy, Criticism of government response to Hurricane Katrina, Walter Reed Army Medical Center neglect scandal, 2002 New Hampshire Senate election phone jamming scandal, NSA warrantless surveillance controversy, Enhanced interrogation, "Mission Accomplished", Scamming the 9-11 commission with Philip Zelikow-Rove connections, Downing Street memo, Halliburton, Dubai Ports World controversy, Dismissal of U.S. attorneys controversy, Unitary executive theory, Jeff Gannon, Waterboarding, the economic recession thanks to Bush's stupid economic and international policies; and a whole host of other crimes against the United States.

    They can try to "cut and run" from the fiasco which is BUSH, that they helped create, but the real fiasco is all of what the reichwing has done to this country the last 7+ years.

    Considering all of the above;

    Good luck trying to get America to swallow your lies again in the near future widdle boys.

  139. clif said...
    Mike those two losers are saying they want Hillary or Obama because they think either will screw up and then the CON-servatives will get another chance to screw over the American people again.

    They don't really want either, but the repugs they BACKED until after the 2006 election bitch-slapping Bush et al took, were just so crooked they can't find any body better the McCain to front for them this time."

    Thats all true Clif, but that wasnt really the point i was trying to make.........Ever hear the song "lunatic Fringe" by Red Rider, where they say your not going to win this time because your full of confusion..............well that describes the repug party right now to a tee, they are full of confusion and they are not going to win this time........particularly if Obama is the nominee.

    A mere few years ago all the repugs were all on the same page repeating the same lies and dishonest talking points like brainwashed robots or trained parrots now they are all saying different things and all have different agendas......their lies and rhetoric has been exposed and laid bare many talking points have been discredited as have many of their leaders and spokes people and their unity and cohesion is they say there is no honor among thieves.

  140. I'm gonna caucus for Obama tonight, i'll let you know how that goes.

  141. Anonymous3:10 PM

    HILLARY '08